Summary:

Competition to the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Newspaper Consortium has been growing – as has pressure related to Microsoft’s (NSDQ: MSFT) proposed b…

Competition to the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Newspaper Consortium has been growing – as has pressure related to Microsoft’s (NSDQ: MSFT) proposed buyout – but the company has remained focused on staying ahead with its long-planned Apex ad selling system, which gets its big introduction Monday as “AMP,” according to reports in NYT and AdAge.

AdAge: AMP (stands for advertising management platform; APEX was the working title) is designed to supplant the ad serving system currently in place for the 634-member Yahoo Newspaper Consortium. The new system, which Yahoo began testing last summer, is scheduled for a full release in Q3. Although still an automated system of selling ad inventory, AMP promises to expand the usual one-way-only method employed by ad networks by letting consortium members sell inventory for Yahoo’s properties as well. That option will easily extend Yahoo’s reach and give it more access to user data through individual newspaper sites. So far, 15 members have tried to two-way method; Yahoo claims that the scale offered to advertisers by the newspapers who tested AMP has increased by five- to 10 times. Yahoo plans to open up the test to 50 more newspapers before Q3.

NYT: AMP is meant to capitalize on the promise of Yahoo’s acquisitions of Right Media, BlueLithium and other companies over the past year. But given the delays which plagued Yahoo’s other highly billed ad system, Panama, any lateness in AMP’s Q3 release would be a major problem. In the meantime, AMP’s initial debut is another maneuver designed to maintain the faith in the company in the face of heightened challenges from the NYTCo-backed QuadrantONE newspaper ad alliance and the continued ad serving developments from AOL (NYSE: TWX), Microsoft and the newly combined Google/DoubleClick.

WSJ: Yahoo has 500 to 700 engineers working on AMP, according to Jay Smith, president of Yahoo partner Cox Newspapers.

Updated: the official Yahoo release is out, and a video demo of the new system embedded below:

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