Peter Kafka

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Yahoo Finds More Real Estate to Sell: Ads Come to the Login Page

If Google (GOOG) can decorate its famously pristine homepage, then everything else is fair game too: Yahoo has started renting out its login page to marketers.

The login page is prime real estate. ComScore (SCOR) says it attracts 26 million U.S. uniques per day, and Yahoo (YHOO) says the page is its third-most popular, after the homepage and Yahoo Mail page. But the Yahoo login has been ad-free–just a white page with a login box and some technical/privacy verbiage–for some 15 years.

Now Yahoo is renting out the page as a “takeover.” That is, everyone who visits the site on a given day sees the same thing.

How much is that worth? Yahoo won’t say. But note that the company is selling takeover spots for its OMG property for $80,000 a day. And OMG gets about 20 million uniques a month, a tiny slice of the login page’s reach.

The new ad units are supposed to cover your entire screen, and run 1,400 pixels wide; by comparison, the column of text you’re looking at now is 350 pixels wide. They’re supposed to be a canvas forĀ “custom, gorgeous, beautiful engagements for an advertiser, that are really meant to be art,” says Yahoo ad VP Mitch Spolan.

Okay. So describing these initial Chevy ads as “art” is a bit of puffery. But they are big: