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March 27, 2007

Yahoo launches mobile ad service

Posted by David Hunter at 1:28 PM ET.

Yahoo today launched their play in advertising for cell phones:

Yahoo! Inc. today announced the launch of Yahoo! Mobile Publisher Services, a suite of services designed to enable publishers to increase the discovery, distribution and monetization of their content on mobile phones. The new services publishers will have access to are the Yahoo! Mobile Ad Network, Mobile Content Engine, Mobile Media Directory and Mobile Site Submit.

Yahoo! Mobile Publisher Services are part the company’s initiative to deliver tools to advertisers, publishers and network operators.

The Yahoo! Mobile Ad Network will allow mobile publishers to have syndicated advertising served on their mobile content and services. Publishers will be able to select the ad formats they want to have run, such as display, sponsored links, video or in-game placements.

The Yahoo! Mobile Content Engine will enable publishers to bring their content to Yahoo!’s mobile audience. It will also help enable publishers who do not have a mobile site or only have a limited mobile offering to quickly distribute their content to consumers on their mobile phones.

The Yahoo! Mobile Media Directory will allow publishers to make their mobile media content accessible directly through Yahoo! oneSearch. Publishers could submit a catalog of their content such as ringtones, games, video and applications.

The Yahoo! Mobile Site Submit will allow publishers to provide information about their mobile site, such as a description and relevant tags, to ensure that their sites are accurately indexed and available to consumers through Yahoo! oneSearch. For example, a hotel could submit their mobile site, including description and tag, enabling weekend travelers to find their location and see if they still have rooms available through Yahoo! oneSearch.

The Yahoo! Mobile Publisher Services will go live today across 19 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, US and Vietnam.

Yahoo gets points for a big push into what is expected to be a lucrative business, but it’s clearly early days yet:

Yahoo’s network of publishers at this point is tiny — three Web services, including MobiTV, a video service to be used with cellphones; Opera, a maker of Web browsers; and Go2, a Yellow Pages site. But the company said it planned to expand the network quickly over the next few months.

“We are being very aggressive on mobile and moving extremely fast to get the building blocks in place,” said Steve Boom, Yahoo’s senior vice president for broadband and mobile. “We felt that business services for publishers is something that was lacking.”

Yahoo, which has fallen a distant second behind Google in Internet search and search-related advertising, has been busy promoting new mobile search software, which it introduced in January. The software, called oneSearch, is intended to allow users to quickly find information like sports scores and weather reports without scrolling through a long list of Web links.

Advertising on sites arrayed for mobile phones is a tiny market, but it is expected to grow quickly, and a number of companies, including the leading wireless carriers, are jockeying for position. Yahoo and Google have both been delivering ads linked to search results on cellphones since last year, but Yahoo is the first of the major Internet firms to introduce a mobile ad network.

You may recall that oneSearch was expanded to most mobile phones just last week.

Filed under Advertising, Coopetition, General Business, Google, MSN, Microsoft, Windows Live, Windows Live Search for Java, Windows Live Search for Windows Mobile, Windows Live for Windows Mobile, Yahoo, adCenter

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