By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 13, 2007
search firm’s deal with Bebo is the latest in its push to sell ads beyond its
Openness is the yin to Jerry Yang’s Yahoo. For its first
decade, Yahoo Inc. grew by attracting more and more people to its
stable of websites. Now, with its co-founder and new chief executive at
the helm, it’s reaching out to find advertising opportunities elsewhere
on the Web.
Yahoo and the other major portals are now all working strategies to place ad
inventory on the entire web, not just within their own domains. Their
short-term focus appears to be paying lots of money to sites like Bebo in order to “buy” the right
to place ad units. But doesn’t that seem like an expensive, non-scalable way to go in the long run?
I’d like to think that the KickApps platform presents a
much more cost effective, long-term model for the way Yahoo (and other portals) might “earn” real
estate on 3rd party websites—by providing those sites a range of
media functionality and, in turn, helping them build incremental page
In an earlier blog I described all this as an “Open Portal” strategy, the idea
being that portals need to open up (distribute) their content and functionality
to web publishers if they wish to effectively compete for advertising real estate off their domains.
I’ll repeat my favorite analogy: Think of the way NBC
earns the right to insert ads on
3rd party television stations by providing them television shows.
Imagine if NBC provided only ads to television stations (e.g. no television
shows). Clearly the “adsense model” would not work for television networks and
it won’t work indefinitely on the Web. And so it won’t be long before Google (and others) begin to think about packaging hosted applications with their ad programs
to earn publisher loyalty. In a nutshell, that’s what KickApps is all about.