Yahoo’s Highly Competitive New Ad Format in the News Stream

In line with the recent launching of the new Yahoo news stream format and experience sometime in February of this year, 2013; Yahoo immediately followed up with the introduction of their newest advertising format – Yahoo Stream Ads. Personalized ads are displayed on Yahoo’s front-page news stream, alongside articles and other features.

Stream Ads are ad units that appear in-line with, and in the same format as the stories in Yahoo news feed. Ads run across desktop PC, tablet; smartphone and other mobile devices. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer explained in a blog post that Yahoo aims to provide unobtrusive advertising which can also enhance content discovery in an effective yet seamless manner. Adverts are customized and tailored to various users – allowing Yahoo users to customize their stream in accordance with the topics users are most interested in.

Stream Ads earned the label as the “sponsored twin” to news feed articles, which are meant to deliver personalized content to users. As users perform more searches on Yahoo and engage with more content, their news feed becomes intuitive to their personal preferences. Stream Ads have been developed to deliver the same relevant content that is within the user’s news feed. The more users spend time with Yahoo, the more relevant and personalized the content and advertising becomes.

Following an industry trend that evolves display advertising to be more consistent with the user experience, Yahoo leveraged on the data it holds on its users and their personalized news streams, in order to provide its users a better experience and for advertisers; a higher performance. Yahoo is capitalizing on the level of science, investment and platform engineering that they possess which other publishers don’t have.

Yahoo made its Stream Ads to look and feel similar to the news articles it shares space with. It is a design based on the principle of an ad unit and ad format sharing the same information architecture with the content that it’s near to, making the ad format consistent with the stream content.

And so far, Yahoo users have positively responded to Stream Ads as majority of them are visiting more, staying longer and increasing their interaction with the content. Unobtrusive advertising is apparently appreciated by the Yahoo users. And based on data gathered after its launch, Yahoo seems to be enjoying the affirmation from the users for its Stream Ads.

Along with Stream Ads, Yahoo also introduced Billboard Ads – a more traditional “billboard” that sits on top of the Yahoo front page for an entire day. It’s an interactive ad format that includes rich content. Yahoo’s Billboard ad format would contain a movie trailer, for instance, and links to more information about the film, and the option to buy movie tickets straight from the ads.

With these two new ad formats, Yahoo is covering the advertising spectrum from end to end – with Stream Ads made accessible to a broad swath of advertisers and the Billboard targeting bigger companies that obviously have deeper pockets.


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