LAS VEGAS: Tech giant Yahoo has announced changes to its advertising business aimed at making it easier for marketers to buy ads and to target different audience segments.

The shake-up will see all relevant products and services housed within the Yahoo Advertising unit, with the newly-formed Yahoo Ad Exchange serving as the company's single programmatic marketplace.

A new targeting product, Yahoo Audience Ads, will sit alongside Yahoo Ad Manager and Ad Manager Plus, a buying platform that gives advertisers direct access to the company's advertising products.

As well as simplifying things from a branding perspective, Scott Burke, SVP of display advertising and advertising technology, claimed that Yahoo Advertising was "a much more enhanced and truly new offering".

Burke argued that a major issue facing display was that after years of evolution, no-one had attempted to rationalize it. "We're after the workflow problem and we're going after the streamlining of the buying process," he said.

He explained to Ad Exchanger that Yahoo Advertising was now the primary investment for the company's ad technology. "It also ties together all the first- and third-party data on Yahoo's inventory and as well as using them programmatically to buy on the network," Burke added.

Dennis Buchheim, Yahoo's VP of product management for display, observed that, while programmatic buying was growing, demand for programmatic premium had increased substantially "even just in the last quarter".

Burke also said he expected security to be a theme of the next year, telling Techcrunch that, just as Yahoo Mail had started offering SSL encryption, so there would be a similar switch in advertising, although he also suggested that this would be easier in search than display because of "all the players" involved in serving display ads.

"You have to get the whole ecosystem to agree to flip, but I think this is the year all the big publishers will have to agree to move," he said.

Burke's comments carried a particular resonance days after ads served through Yahoo's ad network were used to deliver malware to thousands of users, with those in Romania, France and the UK particularly affected.

Data sourced from Yahoo!, Ad Exchanger, Techcrunch, PC World; additional content by Warc staff