Interview: Yahoo’s Schneider And Walrath On APT: Winning The Display Game

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imageBoth 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

5 Comments

McG

Bigagency is more like bigangry. Anyone that calls themselves 'big' anything or 'insider' is often neither…and it shows. If you think what's being done is 'already available from Atlas or DART' then why are both MSFT and GOOG creating new technologies to replace DART and Atlas.

geewhiz

Good call on the Walrath quote. They failed miserably at Search even though it's easier?

BigAgencyInsider

I'm with "geewhiz". Some random food for thought:

1) Funny how YHOO thinks they're cutting edge with so much of their crap because they never look outside their ever-shrinking house. Just about everything they lay out in their "pie-in-the-sky" vision is already available from Atlas & DART. They're the laughing stock in agency circles yet they tout how much we (agencies) love them in the press….classic denial from a one-time behemoth & current "has-been".

2) Um, marrying a dying industry like newspapers and a dying company like Yahoo does not create value. There are already half a dozen companies allowing me to buy across 1 or 1000s of newspaper w/o a problem.

3) Why haven't they been able to get any non-newspaper companies on this thing?? Bueller??

4) My favorite is Walrath's line about "…Search is simple…display is more difficult.." They couldn't get search right & are whoring out to Google since they blew the MSFT deal to save their executive jobs. They've been losing display share for quarters on quarters…MySpace served the most ads as of last Comscore numbers.

5) For David, are you sure they said they'll have the 779 partners migrated to this apt platform by 1/1/2009?? I don't see that happening. They won't even let us use it now b/c of an inability to support a large user like ourselves. i don't even think the thing is being used by their own support teams yet based on what I've been hearing….any clarification here??

6) Net-net, sure this will bring in a few hundred million for YHOO in 2010 – kudos, but it's a drop in the bucket. But this is hardly deserving of all the hype and anyone expecting something "game changing" will be severely disappointed.

geewhiz

All embarrassing rubbish. They will lose in display the way the lost in Search.

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