Yahoo Joins Ad Exchange, Takes Stake

NEW YORK Yahoo said it would begin participating in a marketplace to auction off extra ad placements, part of an effort to increase the amount of money it receives for its inventory.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet giant will participate in the Right Media Exchange, a marketplace for ad networks to bid on placements, and invest in the company operating it. Yahoo took a 20 percent stake in Right Media, part of a $45 million Series B funding round that included Redpoint Ventures.

Yahoo’s sales force will continue to sell the bulk of its impressions, but its non-premium inventory will go through the exchange, where advertisers and ad networks can bid on it.

Greg Coleman, Yahoo’s executive vice president of global media sales, said in a statement Right Media would allow it to “extend Yahoo’s audience to additional marketers, and to help them deliver the right ad to the right person at that right time.”

Like other large sites, Yahoo sells extra ad placements to ad networks such as ValueClick and Often ad networks pass inventory back and forth, which can create inefficiencies in the market, according to Right Media. The company wants to bring transparency to the often-murky world of ad networks, allowing publishers to keep more money that’s currently siphoned off by middlemen. The exchange handles trades of over 2 billion ad impressions daily, according to the company.

Separately, Yahoo said it bought tool vendor AdInterax, which it plans to use to let marketers develop rich media ads on their own. Financial terms were not disclosed.