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Old 11-29-2007, 05:44 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Ads for Adobe PDF powered by Yahoo, to be launched

Who said PDF documents didn't serve any purpose (well, except to make it difficult to read on devices with small screens)? Eager to tap into the growing market for online advertisement, Amazon is now teaming up with Yahoo's ad service to deliver contextual ads to PDF documents. From the Wall Street Journal:

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Now, publishers will be able to show ads alongside their PDFs without selling and inserting the ads themselves, by uploading the PDF content to Adobe's Web site to ad-enable it, then distributing the PDFs as they previously did -- an easier and less costly option. Advertisers, meanwhile, can use Yahoo's existing self-service ad system to buy text ads that will run in a panel to the right of the PDF, when it is viewed in Acrobat or Reader. Yahoo will use the text of the PDF to place contextual ads that are relevant to the subject matter of the PDF -- similar to the text ads that run in blogs, for instance.
If you are a publisher and want to join the current beta test, go to this webpage for sign-up.

Don't place your bets just yet, but maybe, and I am really just fantasizing here, prices for e-books will further go down as publishers will happily embrace this service as a new source for income.

The question is: As a consumer, will you accept ads in e-texts if this means you've to pay less for content?

Update: Thanks to John for sending us these additional links. Adobe Labs, FAQ (PDF), Sample
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:07 PM   #2
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It's fine if you are willing to give up some of your privacy. The small print:

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When you use Adobe software to open a PDF file that contains sponsor content, your computer will connect to a website operated by Adobe, an advertiser, or other third party. Your Internet protocol (IP) address is sent when your computer accesses any website. The party hosting the website may use technology to send (or "serve") advertising or other electronic content that appears in a rendered file. That party may also use JavaScript, web beacons (also known as action tags or single-pixel gifs), and other technologies to increase and measure the effectiveness of its business and advertisements, and to personalize advertising content. Your use of, and communication with, Adobe websites is governed by the Adobe Online Privacy Policy found at http://www.adobe.com/misc/privacy.html. Adobe may not have access to or control over features that a third party may use, and the information practices of third party websites are not covered by the Adobe Online Privacy Policy.
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post

...

The question is: As a consumer, will you accept ads in e-texts if this means you've to pay less for content?
No, no, and no. I have enough problems focusing on what I'm reading without additional distractions. Just the flashing ad at the top of this screen made me have to refocus on what I was writing.

I'm sure most people are better at filtering visual clutter than I am. (I sure hope so, anyway.)
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:58 PM   #4
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I wouldn't be too much distracted by the ads (if they were used as in the sample link). But, beside the privacy issue I mentioned earlier, I don't believe publishers would actually decrease the price of books just because they have another way to make money. Instead, they'd cash in on both sides.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:50 PM   #5
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I have enough problems focusing on what I'm reading without additional distractions. Just the flashing ad at the top of this screen made me have to refocus on what I was writing.
There's an ad flashing on this page? Hmm, guess Adblock for Firefox and SafariBlock for Safari are preventing me from seeing that.

As to ads in pdfs, nope, definitely do not want that. Though if they go ahead with this, there will probably be a tool created to strip the ads out arriving shortly afterwards.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:41 AM   #6
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If they lower the price, why not. But they should be careful: if too dominating (like the newspaper ads that jumps up in your face every time your mouse touch it, puts the company on my "avoid"-list.

Quite another thing is that I only buy PDF if there is no other option.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:02 AM   #7
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No way am I willing to pay for books that would contain advertising. This is why I do not by DVDs, I refuse to pay for adds about upcoming movies. Don't even get me going about the adds at movie theatres.

Advertising in electronic books would drive me back to Pbooks.

Advertising is too invasive all ready.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:03 AM   #8
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I'll go back to what I've said from day 1 - no paper, no printing, no shipping, no storage - why are we paying as much for ebooks as we are for paper? The answer is publishers' greed.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:40 AM   #9
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I. Don't. Want. Books. With. Commercials.

The advertisements in the sample PDF were very sleek and unobtrusive, certainly, and if I had to deal with ads, I could think of worse ways to view them than through Adobe's pretty GUI. But, unless you're lucky enough to be running on an enormous screen, you're losing real-estate. That exacerbates eye-strain and adds ammunition to the folks what're criticising ebooks in general.

PDF is a clean, efficient, universal medium, and offering it up as a zone for advertising seems to me like an awfully dangerous floodgate. Imagine if Staples (Office Depot) started selling subsidised reams of paper watermarked with their logo: businesses would leap at the opportunity for reduced operating expenses wherever they could get away with it and the spoilt medium would trickle down to the end-users.

This is poop. This is a very big poop.

Last edited by Danny Fekete; 12-03-2007 at 04:11 AM.
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