Adobe Systems is joining the advertising revenue game, announcing Nov. 29 an agreement with Yahoo to serve ads in an opt-in service for publishers that want to generate new revenues through Adobes Portable Document Format.
The free service, called Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo, works very much like typical online advertising models.
When a publisher uploads a PDF to the service, Adobes software analyzes the content to get a handle on that context and enables it for ads, said Kurt Garbe, entrepreneur in residence of advertising at Adobe. Adobe then e-mails the PDF back to the publisher, who distributes it via the Web or a distribution list.
Every time an ad-enabled PDF is opened, Adobe sends keywords from the PDF to Yahoo, which automatically returns ads from its fleet of ad partners based on those keywords. The ads are served up in a side panel of the PDF, much like ads are rendered on a Web site.
In the pay-per-performance model associated with online advertising, Yahoo will pay the publisher for meeting certain click-through goals. Adobe and Yahoo have a separate revenue-sharing deal worked out for this service, but the companies arent disclosing the fiscal breakdown.
The service could hold great promise for PDF publishers, which are trying to find new revenue streams for their content and are tired of running ads by selling ad space and linking to the ad. In the static model, if the ad doesnt perform, the publisher is stuck because the PDF has already been distributed.
Garbe said Adobe, which has partnered with Yahoo on Web services and other initiatives, did not look at Google, Microsoft or AOL as potential partners for this service.
To read more about Yahoo and Adobe teaming up for Web services, click here.
Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo is completely automated, so ads may change from day to day for the same PDF.
For example, if a publisher puts out a PDF about the latest advances in cancer research, it will be associated with certain keywords. Whenever the PDF is opened, Adobes new service will tip off Yahoos ad platform to certain keywords. Yahoos ad platform will check inventory on its network of advertisers and dynamically serve ads to the PDF.
"If you open up that PDF on Monday, youll get different ads when you open it up on Tuesday," Garbe told eWEEK.
The publisher, which does not have to install any software for this service, can then monitor ad performance through reports.
Some publishers have already committed to participating in the Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo beta program, including IDG InfoWorld, Wired and Reed Elsevier.
The beta is open here to U.S.-based publishers who produce English content. The service supports PDF content created in Adobe Acrobat 8 and earlier versions.
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