Files published in Portable Document Format aren’t the most
plentiful pages on the Web, but they represent a pretty large available
audience. Adobe says it has distributed approximately 500 million
Acrobat readers globally, which are used to read everything from
archived versions of print magazines to regional newsletters to
instruction manuals. Now the software giant is eager to determine
whether the documents can join in the digital advertising jamboree
that’s powered so much other free content.
In a deal with Yahoo, Adobe has begun offering publishers the
ability to monetize their PDF files with contextually targeted text
ads. While it admits ignorance regarding the size of the market
opportunity for such ads or their ideal surroundings, a beta program
launched today aims to get some of those answers. IDG InfoWorld, Wired,
Pearson’s Education, Meredith Corporation, and Reed Elsevier are among
the first to offer up their subscription and legacy PDF formatted
content for free under the test.
"We don’t know which [content types] will dominate," said Kurt
Garbe, Adobe’s entrepreneur in residence, advertising. "We’ve looked at
a cross-section during the pre-beta. Certainly the reprint market is a
very big potential market."