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IDC: AMP! from Yahoo! to help Rationalize, Standardize, and Consolidate the Purchasing of Advertising


by Rachel E. Happe, IDC

Today, Yahoo! announced its new AMP! product plans and with it takes steps to make the purchasing and deployment of online display advertising a great deal easier and more efficient. AMP! from Yahoo! is a networked application that provides interfaces for the ad buyer, the creative teams, and the publisher in order to give all parties real-time visibility into the following:
- Available ad inventory by size, format, and price;
- Access to inventory across three large publishing networks:
o Yahoo! Properties;
o Premium partner properties: eBay, Forbes, ZiffDavis, WebMD, Viacom, Cars.com, Comcast, United Online, & AT&T;
o Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium properties: ~600 news sites;
- Standard demographic categories;
- Standard geographic categories;
- Standard behavioral targeting mechanisms (based on Yahoo! aggregated data).

What's interesting about this?

First the scale and reach of the three aggregated networks is massive and represents premium inventory. Others do this Doubleclick, Advertising.com, and Exponential but with the newspaper consortium Yahoo! has combined premium national brands together with premium local content.

Secondly, AMP! standardizes demographic, geographic, behavioral, and pricing options across these networks and allows the ad buyer to make one purchase across a huge number of sites. This standardization is a big deal. It seems to make intuitive sense and yet it does not exist broadly today. Having Yahoo! rationalize the various different buckets across hundreds of sites makes the ad buyer's job much easier and will drive more purchases across a larger range of properties.

Thirdly, AMP! provides a simple content management portal for creative teams to upload the ad elements themselves. This feature eliminates a huge amount of the back and forth work done during the ad creation and approval process. Centralizing storage of the creative in the same system as the ad serving platform reduces confusion over versioning (much of which is done via back and forth emails today), allows advertisers to preview the ad together with the publisher's site, and immediately deploy the ad campaign when the advertiser is ready to go.

Lastly, AMP! provides newspaper consortium salespeople a way to sell both local premium inventory and access to inventory at national brand destinations (geo-targeted of course) to local advertisers. Local advertisers many of whom do not have the size or relationships to buy into national brands can now reach a local audience across a wide variety of premium online destinations, which greatly extends their touch points with their customers.

AMP! is a leap forward in driving standards and rational in the online display sales cycle and will likely be a big hit with ad buyers and publishers alike. Sales teams, now consumed with the administrative back and forth of finding enough inventory, negotiating and selecting serving constraints, and getting the creative aspects locked down, will be able to spend more time thinking strategically about their advertising spend or their inventory packages.

This announcement will give Yahoo! much needed leadership momentum in the online ad market. However, they will have to ensure that their claim is followed up with a product that is delivered on time and that gains rapid adoption. While Yahoo! has provided or purchased a range of ad purchasing, serving, and billing applications in the past, AMP! includes workflow, content management, and billing that ad buyers and publishers will need to integrate with backend billing, CRM, and information applications. Yahoo! would do well to consider buying Operative or partnering with SAP or Oracle in order to provide the expertise and intelligence needed to truly provide and end-to-end enterprise-class ad management platform.



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