Yahoo Launches New Contextual Ad Net. Why Now?

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Yahoo is taking the wraps off a new contextual ad network powered by Media.net. The publisher offering goes by the catchy name Yahoo! Bing Network Contextual Ads, though despite the reference to Microsoft's search product, Redmond is not involved.

Most people will interpret this a second attempt by Yahoo to create a competitor to Google's AdSense. Yahoo shuttered its previous contextual long tail publisher network – Yahoo Publisher Network Online – two years ago and began referring all inquiries to Chitika. It still operates Yahoo Publisher Network, its network monetization offering to large premium publishers.

We asked Media.net and Yahoo to answer a few questions about it. Yahoo declined to speak on the record  but here are thoughts from Media.net CEO Divyank Turakhia.

AdExchanger: Is this the new Yahoo Publisher Network Online?

DIVYANK TURKHIA: This is the new self-serve platform, which publishers can use to display relevant ads from the Yahoo! Bing Network. To that extent it is similar. The Yahoo! Bing Network Contextual Ads program is an entirely new solution for publishers. It is powered by Media.net. It has nothing to do with the erstwhile YPNO.

Why is it the right time for a Yahoo/Bing contextual ad network — 10 years after AdSense and two years after YPN shut down? 

There is never a wrong time to launch a solution that can access a multi-billion dollar market. The publisher monetization market is extremely large. Google accounts somewhere between 45- to 50 percent of the global ad spend; 70 percent-plus of these revenues are generated by Google’s own properties. So I would say - Google isn't really the competition - considering it has approximately 20 percent of the market-share for revenues from third-party publishers (i.e. non-Google properties).

We don't see ourselves as competing with anyone in specific. Our solution is one that all publishers can use in some form for some part of their website. We are not saying replace any specific provider or solution. We are saying add us to the mix, and you will see a great lift in your overall revenue.

Today Media.net has 400+ people. By the end of the year, it will have 500+ people on the project. In the process of building its solution, Media.net has contextually optimized over $200 million worth of internet traffic. The solution is built for scale. It has invested substantial resources towards building a solution that will work for many publishers.

Is Microsoft involved here?  

Yahoo and Media.net have put this deal together.

Operationally, Media.net manages technology, business operations and relationships with respect to publishers. Publishers sign up with Media.net - and get paid by Media.net. Yahoo manages technology, business operations and relationships with respect to advertisers and drive advertiser sales worldwide for the program. Advertisers sign up with Yahoo! and pay Yahoo. Yahoo manages the Microsoft relationship in providing its side of the deal -- i.e. Yahoo! uses the Bing advertising platform for managing advertiser relationships and allowing the advertisers to manage their campaigns on the Yahoo! Bing Network

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