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Both display and newspaper advertising have been taking it on the chin this year. And as the general economic condition becomes more uncertain by the day, the problems being faced on those fronts looks even more difficult. Earlier this week, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), claiming the mantle of the largest player in display advertising and as major link to newspapers’ online advertising, lifted the curtain on its long-awaited online ad sales and targeting delivery system, APT. As executives explained at a press conference heralding the platform, APT’s promise involves simplifying the buying and selling of display ads through more automation and by connecting all the sides of the ad deal — publishers, advertisers, agencies, networks and developers — on a single platform.
More after the jump.
APT (fka AMP, and before that, and APEX) is getting its start with members of the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, the company’s online ad sales alliance representing 779 newspapers from 32 publishers. As part the APT beta test this summer, MediaNews Group’s The San Jose Mercury News and Hearst’s The San Francisco Chronicle were the first to try it, with the rest of the membership to be hooked up through the end of the year. APT will be made available to marketers, ad agencies, and ad networks at various points next year.
— Display game is Yahoo’s to lose: With APT, Yahoo is trying to do with display what Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has done with search ads, says UBS internet analyst Ben Schachter in a research note. Still, Google, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), AOL (NYSE: TWX) and others are said to be prepping their own APT-like platforms. In the end, Schachter sees room for only one or two main winners in this game, writing: “Due to Yahoo’s scale and leadership position in display advertising, it is Yahoo’s position to lose. The problem is, given Yahoo’s execution history, we are concerned that they could lose it. This will all come down to execution; if Yahoo executes, the market opportunity could be significant.” After the press conference, I spoke with EVP Hilary Schneider and Mike Walrath, SVP, Yahoo Advertiser Marketplace Group, and asked how Yahoo expects to win.
— APT is the precursor: Schneider: “APT is really about the transformation of the display marketplace. Longer term, we see the opportunity for a converged marketplace. So with the introduction of APT, we