Yahoo and Adobe have teamed up to give publishers the ability to offer contextual advertising as part of their PDF document downloads.
Users upload their PDFs to Yahoo’s ad network and then Yahoo hosts the document for download and serves up contextual advertising in a panel to the right of the given document’s content.
According to CNet, sites participating in the current closed beta include IDG’s InfoWorld, Wired, Pearson’s Education, Meredith Corporation and Reed Elsevier. No word as yet as to when it might be broadly available, although if it is eventually rolled out as part of the Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) it will be a US residents only service.
On one hand contextual advertising in PDFs probably falls into the “why didn’t they think of that before” category, but on the other hand there’s probably a reason this is a new concept, because I can’t see there being a stampede of people wanting to use the service. It will be interesting to see however whether the ads convert, and it may provide an additional revenue stream for ebook sellers and similar online users and creators who regularly provide PDF downloads to visitors.