YP, OpenX Join Forces In Programmatic Deal

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David-LebowThe local search and advertising company YP has partnered with ad exchange OpenX, the companies said Tuesday.

Under the agreement, OpenX allows advertisers to bid programmatically on mobile and Web display inventory on YP’s ad network. YP claims to have more than 300 publishers on its Local Ad Network, including AOL, Yahoo and Pandora.

“With display, so much of it is programmatic now and OpenX helps us make it even easier for advertisers to optimize and buy (inventory),” said David Lebow, EVP and general manager of digital markets at YP.

YP was formed two years ago when AT&T sold its majority stake in AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive to Cerberus Capital Management, which the financial firm merged into YP Holdings LLC. YP Holdings is the parent company of YP LLC. YP's brands include the YP app, YP.com and the Real Yellow Pages directory.

The company’s history is rooted in performance-based advertising and it is attempting to enhance its services with local ad-targeting capabilities. In January, YP acquired Sense Networks, a 10-person startup that offers location and behavioral-based ad-targeting capabilities. It also partnered with Yelp in March, allowing YP advertisers to add content to Yelp listings.

Even through YP pulled in approximately $350 million in mobile ad revenue in 2012 (it is working on its 2013 figures), and has a sales staff of more than 3,000 people, it is “the biggest company that people haven’t heard of,” Lebow said. “Brand and consumer awareness are gigantic priorities, and so is enhancing the usage and usability of our YP app and the onsite experience.”

YP faces competition from numerous players who are also racing to deliver local, targeted ads to consumers. Facebook recently began collecting its users’ location history, which it could apply to ads and Google lets advertisers show ads that are triggered by searches on Google Maps. Twitter is also reportedly working on its own location-based mobile ad capabilities.

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