Yahoo will try a new way to monetize Tumblr, via the introduction of posts that can be promoted as ad units across Yahoo’s network of owned and operated sites.
While neither Yahoo nor its Tumblr subsidiary confirmed to AdExchanger that this is in the works or when the product is scheduled to debut, the existence of ads designed to promote Tumblr posts is an open secret in the agency community.
"We do know that they are going to be offering the ability to push Tumblr content across Yahoo," said Cindy Stockwell, EVP and chief media officer at Hill Holliday.
Since Yahoo’s $990 million (not $1.1 billion, as many outlets originally reported) acquisition of the social media/blogging platform, many industry watchers have speculated why Yahoo would hook up with Tumblr in the first place. It could be a play for the millennial audience that frequents the platform, or even a way to manage identities in a cookieless environment.
Agencies have responded with cautious optimism. Vik Kathuria, Razorfish’s global chief media officer, said that Yahoo’s ability to leverage its owned and operated network was one of its reasons for purchasing Tumblr in the first place.
“There is an interesting opportunity for marketers to use Tumblr as a creative platform and the immense power of Yahoo’s distribution and scale to target the right users at the right time,” he said. But he was also wary: “(Yahoo) needs to be incredibly sensitive to the user experience, which could be severely impacted with the high-impact ad units.”