Advertising Infiltrates PDF Files

Adobe and Yahoo jointly launched the beta version of a new advertising service Thursday designed to allow PDF publishers to earn advertising revenue for their content.

Dubbed “Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo,” the opt-in service enables online commercial publishers to include timely contextual ads next to Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)-based content. Readers, meanwhile, will gain access to more free content linked with ads that match their interests, the companies said.

“By partnering with Yahoo on this innovative advertising service, we are creating opportunities for publishers to build new businesses around unique content that previously was just given away or not available to a mass online audience,” said Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president of corporate development at Adobe.

Dynamically Matched Ads

To join the program, publishers must register online and upload their Adobe PDF content so that it can be ad-enabled before they distribute it. Once that is done, every time a PDF document is viewed, contextual ads are dynamically matched to the content of the document via Yahoo’s network of advertisers.

The text-based ads appear in a panel adjacent to the content and can be displayed only within Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. Publishers, meanwhile, can monitor ad performance through detailed reports.

The service is free and does not require the purchase or installation of any software. The program is open to U.S.-based publishers that produce English content.

Publishers on Board

Publishers already on board include IDG, Conde Nast, Pearson, Meredith and Reed Elsevier.

“The unique combination of Adobe PDF and Yahoo ads presents a new way of generating revenue from many of our existing products,” said Allen Fear, director of online content at IDG’s InfoWorld. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with Adobe and Yahoo on what we believe is a solution that significantly enhances the value of PDF distribution.”

Indeed, the new service transforms the PDF format into an ad platform, Greg Sterling, founder and principal with Sterling Market Intelligence, told the E-Commerce Times.

“This is really contextual advertising as it exists on the Internet, but brought into more static documents,” Sterling explained. “For publishers that publicly present content that way, and particularly for small publishers that otherwise wouldn’t be able to charge money for what they’re doing, this gives them an opportunity to earn revenue for their content.”

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