Yahoo unveils ad tools and content services in revenue push

Yahoo has rattled off several new advertising initiatives designed to make it easier for brands to better target their ads across its websites as the business accelerates efforts to reclaim lost digital ad revenues from Google and Facebook.

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Yahoo has created suite of new ad tools to reclaim its share of lost digital ad revenues.

The company’s chief executive Marissa Mayer announced the updates, which include ad tools, mobile products and digital magazine brands, yesterday evening (8 January) during its CES keynote speech. It is being sold as an easier way for advertisers to manage campaigns across its portfolio of products.

The web portal has overhauled its ad tools under a single brand, dubbed Yahoo Advertising, to drive better measurability from display advertising and native content. These tools include Yahoo Audience Ads, which the business promises “optimised data-driven ad buying with enhanced analytics” that combines Yahoo, brand and third-party data.  It has also beefed up its Ad Manager product to give marketers a more simplified process to create and manage larger display campaigns.    

It will also introduce the Yahoo Ad Exchange in the first quarter, touting it is an update of its previous Right Media Exchange “with higher quality marketplace and an enhanced platform featuring payment clearing, advanced inventory and demand controls, and flexible private marketplaces”.     

On the social media front, Yahoo is now serving sponsored posts on Tumblr allowing marketers to target in-stream ads by gender and location while only paying on a cost-per-action (e.g when a user likes, reblogs or follows) basis. Products from Yahoo Advertising will power the ads.

The company also unveiled Yahoo News Digest, a mobile news aggregator, built on the model of the Summly app it acquired last year. The app will push content about the top news stories based on a user’s preferences twice a day.

Separately, Yahoo revealed it had acquired Aviate, a mobile start-up specialising in automatically organising apps on smartphone homescreens based on a user’s habits, for an undisclosed fee. It is also is rolling out a channel called Yahoo Food, which will feature photos, recipes and trends in cuisine.

The flurry of announcements comes as Yahoo attempts to keep pace with Google and Facebook after its display ad business fell 7% and 11% in the last two quarters. It was recently overtaken by Facebook to become the US’ second biggest digital ad seller, according to research firm eMarketer. It adds Yahoo’s share of worldwide digital ad revenues plummeted from 3.4% in 2012 to 2.9% in 2013.

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