Yahoo Debuts APT, Its “Unified Digital Advertising Platform”

At various times it’s been called AMP or APEX, but today Yahoo introduced its new “unified digital advertising platform,” which the company is now calling APT. With the platform it gained through the Right Media acquisition at its core, Yahoo is positioning APT as a dynamic, open marketplace (dispensing with the term “exchange”).

The central idea is very simple: simplification of buying and selling advertising across the internet. The first customers — indeed the apparent drivers of the initiative — are Yahoo’s newspaper partners.

Search is not a part of APT at this point. But previously Yahoo President Sue Decker said that it would encompass all ad types and formats across Yahoo and its partner network: We are building a cutting edge ad platform that runs across all formats, whether it is search, display, video. It is capable of harnessing the power of Yahoo and the power off Yahoo. But it will also take advantage of emerging formats like mobile, all in an easy to use system.

APT was formally unveiled in New York today, with an appearance by Jon Hamm, the actor who plays advertising executive Don Draper on the popular AMC show Mad Men. Lots of sweeping and dramatic claims are being made for APT and how it will affect online advertising.

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang blogged about the launch:

Our confidence in APT’s ability to transform the marketplace isn’t based on theory or conjecture. It’s because of the feedback we’ve been hearing from partners who have been working with us side-by-side as we developed and then began testing the platform. In fact, William Dean Singleton, CEO of Media News Group (parent company of the San Jose Mercury News), also joined us on stage today, using words like “extraordinary and “sea-change” to describe how APT will take MNG into the future.

Yang characterized it as a “platform that would be to 2009 what radio was to 1924, TV to 1947, color TV to 1965, and the Internet to 1993.”

Google, AOL and Microsoft all have their own “next generation” ad platforms in the works or various stages of development. For example, just yesterday AOL announced its own: BidPlace.

Clearly APT is consistent with what advertisers, agencies and publishers want: reach, targeting and simplification. But we’ll get to see in the coming months whether it can deliver for them — and for Yahoo.

Related Topics: Channel: Display | Yahoo: Business Issues | Yahoo: Display Ads | Yahoo: Partnerships | Yahoo: SmartAds

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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