It comes a month after Tumblr introduced mobile in-stream ads. Previously ad
formats had inhabited less prominent real estate and were
constrained to the "Radar" post on users' dashboads, which
alternates between paid promotions and images curated by Tumblr
staff, and "spotlight" placements on pages highlighting top Tumblr
blogs in categories like sports and architecture.
Tumblr generated $13 million in ad revenue last year, which was
before it had any in-stream ads. An executive who got Tumblr's
mobile ad pitch said those buys were priced at around $250,000.
Tumblr didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on how
its web ads will compare in terms of pricing.
It's also anticipated that having Yahoo's sales force at its
disposal will help Tumblr's ad business expand quickly. Yahoo has
about 2,500 salespeople, compared to Tumblr's pre-acquisition 25,
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said during a call last week. She and
Tumblr founder David Karp also said that Yahoo would introduce new
"native" ad formats to Tumblr, but today's web ads are clearly part
of Tumblr's pre-existing roadmap.
The seven advertisers testing the web ads in beta are Viacom, Ford Motor Company, Universal
Pictures, Capital One, AT&T,
Denny's (whose ad is an animated GIF) and Purina. As
with users of Tumblr's iOS and Android apps, desktop users will see
up to four sponsored posts per day, and they'll be demarcated with
a dollar sign shooting out rays of light.
Tumblr has 93.1 million monthly unique users, per ComScore.
According to a Tumblr spokeswoman, more than half of "loyal users"
use both the desktop version and native apps.
Contributing: John McDermott