Yahoo has announced a multiyear partnership with Viacom for its new Panama search advertising platform; Yahoo will serve as the exclusive provider of sponsored search and contextual ads to all of Viacom's 33 broadband sites (including MTV.com, VH1.com and ComedyCentral.com). The deal could be expanded to more than 140 additional Viacom Web sites worldwide. "Yahoo has made impressive strides with its new search marketing system. As a global leader in content for every screen and platform, we couldn't be more pleased to have them as a partner, and we look forward to growing our relationship even more over time," Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said in a statement.
Panama, launched in final form earlier this year, ranks ads in search results based on how they perform, or how often they get clicked on, and not merely on how much the advertiser is willing to pay. With Panama, Yahoo hopes to gain on Google's constant success in the search advertising market. Yahoo Chief Executive Terry Semel said at a conference sponsored by Ad Age last month that the company would reveal some "very exciting numbers" related to Panama when the company announces its first-quarter results in mid-April. Executives have said that any significant financial impact from the new search ad system on the company's results will not be seen until later in the year.