The news: Yahoo acquired a 25% stake in Taboola. As part of the deal, Taboola will be Yahoo’s native advertising partner for 30 years across its digital brands, which includes sites like TechCrunch, AOL, and Engadget.
What is Taboola: Most people are exposed to Taboola through “recommended” article links found at the bottom and sides of news articles. These links direct users to other pages in the company’s ecosystem or link to a third party “sponsored” advertiser, and are featured on many major digital publishers, from USA Today and CNBC to our own sister site Insider.
But is Taboola the right bet? A larger company like Yahoo might be a better match for Taboola, but the ad-supported digital publishing model appears to be on its way out.
Our take: Taboola can’t save digital publishing on its own. While a partner like Yahoo may be a natural fit, its format still creates a negative user experience and doesn’t drive enough revenues to prop up a company on its own (though Lanzone said Yahoo will expand revenues in other ways).