Adobe, Yahoo Testing PDF Ad Service

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A beta test of Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo opened for publishers, offering placement and tracking of contextual ads alongside Portable Document Format content.

Adobe, Yahoo Testing PDF Ad Service
Adobe, Yahoo Testing PDF Ad Service

PDF has been an appealing format due to its ability to preserve the look and feel of a document, while providing it to others in an easily accessible way. The free Adobe Reader became a fixture on computer desktops as adoption of PDF increased.

Yahoo has managed to score a significant win by beating ad competitors like Google and Microsoft to the opportunity to mine the PDF space for advertising revenue. Adobe and Yahoo announced the new program for delivering dynamic contextual ads in PDFs this morning.

The opt-in program pulls ads from Yahoo’s network to place in a panel next to the PDF content. Each time the PDF is opened, the ads will be refreshed to keep timely and relevant ones in place.

Publishers gain the ability to track their ad performance in the PDFs. Yahoo Publisher Network senior VP Todd Teresi called this a "previously untapped opportunity" for advertisers to gain exposure, and publishers to derive revenue from these documents.

The program picked up some big name participants for this initial beta. CondeNast’s Wired, IDG InfoWorld, and Reed Elsevier were among those named in a statement from Adobe.

To participate, publishers register and then upload their PDFs so the ad functionality can be enabled for the document. After that has been completed, the publisher distributes the PDF as usual.

InfoWorld’s participation is of particular interest. The long-time trade journal scrapped its print magazine in opting for an online-only, ad-supported presence. If profitable, we expect to see other print publishers express interest in trying out the program.

Another interesting possibility comes to mind with the PDF advertising. The hot Amazon Kindle electronic book reader has the capability to pick up PDF content, a feature Amazon currently lists as being experimental in its ability to convert them for readability.

If Amazon works out PDF conversions, the EVDO network supporting wireless content delivery to Kindle could work as a conduit for the PDF ad program too. Since Amazon has its own interest in delivering ads, there could be issues with this idea, however.

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Adobe, Yahoo Testing PDF Ad Service
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  • http://www.osgfx.com scott Adie

    Conceptually, this concept has great appeal for us. Expanding our marketing efforts to deepen our exposure on the web means we need a dynamic and efficent way to place and update ads in numerous places concurrently. With Adobe/Yahoo ads we will be able to make one ad change and have it appear in multiple locations simultaneously. The more dynamic a business is, the more beneficial this can be.With Adobe/Yahoo PDF ads, content management becomes much simpler. I expect to see this catch on quickly and spread like the wildfires in So. California. Hopefully it will be helpful rather than destructive. But then, that’s up to those who utilize it isn’t it?

  • http://relocatecanada.com Kai Hansen


    I hope this feature will be introduced in Canada soon and I will be one of the first ones to sign up.

    With over 400 pdf pages being served hundreds of times from our site every day I appreciate the idea.


    Kai Hansen

  • http://www.missionvisionstatement.com Don Midgett

    I am the author and publisher of an e-book on how to write your own mission and vision statements. It is in pdf format and is accessed at www.missionvisionstatement.com

    Is this a candidate for the Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo? If so, how does the process work?

  • http://EBookInternational.com Gary Hamilton

    I have been working on a the banner server aspect of pdf advertising and we own pdads.com and pdad.com, pdfsuite.com, pdfbook.com, pdfstudios.com, pdfstudio.com, ebookinternational.com, ebooksolutions.com, ebookaffiliates.com and another 50 to 100 ebook and pdf domains not listed with our domain holdings at http://domainlords.com.

    I see this as the greatest opportunity in Internet Advertising in the past 10 years. However, we have encountered many bugs in Acrobat that need other tools. For example if you look at the PDF brouchure I created for the sale of our home in Vegas http://EBookInternational.com/home/8017.pdf, the justification of text when embed the flash is virtually impossible Acrobat goes back to left default.

    The serving of banners or flash on large document can done using Adobe Javascript. This reduces the file size 25% depending on how many banners you want to run.

    We wanted to create something similar to what Yahoo is doing at our domain UHtml.com where publishers could come and convert their pdfs online and we would place banners and text ads on them for the process. Of course some of the conversions would need manual attention to get the kind of results that a desktop and print background like ours like to see in our results.

    You can see in our free version of Dracula and Dracula’s Guest our added art work from our art, cartoon, animation and clipart studios as well.

    I would like to work closely with Yahoo on this. While I am here I would like everyone to take advantage of our email hexidermal email address encoder at http://domainlords.com/encoder/

    Thank You.
    Gary Hamilton

  • http://www.ivolution-seo.com Ivolution Seo


    Apologies for what may sound like a stupid question but does this mean that all PDF documents that you download from the web will be AD enabled if you allow them to be or am I missing the plot completely?

    • David A. Utter

      Not all PDF documents will have ads, only those where the publisher has registered for the ad program. Then the PDF has to be submitted so the ad functionality can be added to it.

  • http://lookbook.co.uk John Brook Hanson

    Please write more on this area, regards, J B Hanson

  • http://jodis.co.ua/ DeadJDona

    Google can show the content of PDF as HTML?

    Will it show ads? And what does they googlers say about this possibility =))

  • http://best.mediator.ever.com/ Larry Blackwell

    It is good to see Yahoo stepping into the market big time. This will also give the PDF format a huge bump. Best of luck.

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