Yahoo Sorta Makes Nice With DSPs, Extends Key Deadline Until January

Startups Angered as Yahoo Reforms Advertising Practices

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After ruffling more than a few feathers in the ad tech space recently, Yahoo attempted to clear the air today. In a Yahoo Advertising Blog post, the company's No. 2 salesman Seth Dallaire explained why Yahoo has decided to prohibit advertisers and agencies from buying Yahoo inventory through audience-buying technology known as demand-side platforms on the Right Media Exchange unless they get their own seats on the exchange.

"The lack of direct relationships can make campaign controls and transparency difficult on both sides," he wrote.

"We're confident that taking steps to establish more direct relationships by taking greater control of Yahoo Network Plus inventory is a win-win for our users, our advertisers and our publisher partners," he added. "Users will experience fewer duplicated ads across our network. Advertisers will benefit by working more directly with Yahoo and our publisher partners to maximize the value of their media buys via simpler, more streamlined transactions."

Mr. Dallaire also announced in the post that clients of DSPs will have until January 11 to register for seats on Right Media. Yahoo had originally angered DSPs by telling them last Tuesday that their clients had only until December 2 to get seats on the exchange. Once these clients have a seat on the exchange, they can use a DSP technology to make buys. But they will no longer be able to make Yahoo inventory buys through a DSP's seat.

Earlier this week, Ad Age reported that Yahoo would also ban ad networks from purchasing its inventory on Right Media by the end of the year. But Yahoo has still not publicly addressed how they will deal with these players.

At an Ad Age event this afternoon, Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo's exec-VP Americas, made it clear that Yahoo is going to continue to do whatever it needs to to foster as direct a relationship as possible with agencies and brands.

"Yes, we're going to disrupt some business models," he said, speaking of ad tech players. "I'm sorry for that ."

He said this strategy started to evolve during his early days at the company. Shortly after starting at Yahoo, "I found way too many agents between buyers and sellers," he said. So he set out to craft a plan to directly connect buyer and seller. "What a novel concept," Mr. Levinsohn said.

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