Yahoo unveiled its IAB Upfronts messaging this morning (27 October) promising advertisers that its mix of premium content, plus access to its audience data, and inventory at scale will prove a key point of difference in the market.
The internet giant made the revelations at an event in London where attendees were hosted by Yahoo‘s recently installed European chief Nick Hugh, who told advertisers that its offering consisted of three central tenets: Insights; Audience; Measurement.
Hugh - who was unveiled as Yahoo’s general manager and VP for EMEA post the departure of Dawn Airey - explained how Yahoo’s wealth of audience data is now available to advertisers within its programmatic advertising hub BrightRoll, via the demand-side platform (DSP) element of the offering.
Advertisers can compare this with their own audience data to generate audience insights and then use them to target specific audience segments both on Yahoo properties, and elsewhere across the internet.
Central to this pitch is Yahoo’s Tumblr offering, according to Hugh who also interviewed top flight footballer - and blogger - Jermaine Jenas at the event to demonstrate the traction the social blogging platform has with audiences.
Speaking with The Drum, Hugh claimed Tumblr offers brands an alternative to rival social platforms as there are more opportunities for their “earned media” to be seen by audiences, with advertisers that access the platform also able to use Yahoo’s data set to inform their content strategy.
This is in contrast to Facebook and Google, both of whom last year implemented algorithm changes meaning brands have less opportunity to engage with audiences via organic methods, which many claim was a further play to force brands down a paid-for media route.
“The combined audience between Yahoo and Tumblr is 1 billion globally,” said Hugh. “Research demonstrates that Tumblr is one of the fastest-growing platforms, and one of the ones with the most engaged audience.”
In addition, Yahoo also used the event to showcase the success that its live-streaming of sporting and music events is having with audiences, with Hugh claiming that its streaming of Sunday’s Bills Vs. Jaguars game played in London attracted 15.2 million unique viewers (although there is debate over the actual audience size).
“We’re providing modern content experiences, and and we can expect more to come in 2016," he added.
Hugh went on to explain that Yahoo will pursue this strategy with content around some of next year’s flagship sporting events including the RBS 6 Nations tournament, UEFA 2016 finals, plus the Olympic Games hosted in Rio de Janeiro (although, this will not necessarily include live coverage of the contests in every instance). This is in addition to its coverage of live music events.
Addressing the measurement component of Yahoo’s offering, The Drum raised advertisers’ frustrations over the fragmented approach towards measurement from many ad tech vendors - despite the industry having loosely agreed upon a viewability definition of 50 per cent of an ad in-view for one second on desktop display.
Hugh claimed said Yahoo was working with trade bodies including the IAB to help address these concerns, adding that with specific advertisers it was also adopting a more bespoke approach to meet their demands.
“At a market level, we’re trying to provide a standard, but agreeing a standard at a global level is tough,” he explained. “And at a business level we’re also working with advertisers [including agencies] to meet their requirements.”
Yahoo is working with third-party viewability vendors including comScore, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and Moat.
Other key elements of the Yahoo offering include its newly unified programmatic BrightRoll platform which incorporates its native and search advertising platform Gemini.
Yahoo's event concluded the IAB Digital Upfronts series for 2015, click here for coverage of the offerings unveiled by others last week.