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Yahoo Still Readying APT, In Pieces

Yahoo execs have been talking up APT, the Web giant's new service for selling display advertising, for a while now. As The Wall Street Journal's Jessica Vascellaro notes, Yahoo managers have "trumpeted" the new platform for several quarters now, saying it will "change the game" in online advertising. As former CEO Jerry Yang said during APT's official unveiling last year, "Building APT was a tremendous effort and we're very proud of its early success."

However, Carol Bartz, Yahoo's new CEO, struck a decidedly different tone when APT came up during yesterday's first quarter earnings call. Instead of referring to it as a "monolithic product with a one-off debut," Bartz revealed that APT was more like several different pieces of technology. "There is no such thing as a roll out of APT," she said. "APT is a product that will be ongoing for a long time."

Meanwhile, Vascellaro points out that it's still a massive headache today for advertisers to buy display ads across multiple sites. It's also a pain for publishers who have lots of inventory to sell to find demand for all but their most highly trafficked pages. Yahoo, of course, thinks there's a huge reward for solving these problems. Is APT the answer? Maybe, but it will take time, Bartz said. During the first quarter call, she referred to APT as "a big honking, important platform for us," but deploying it on a wide scale "was a bigger task than I think the company understood, to be honest."

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