Can't say I was surprised when today I received an email from Yahoo announcing the end of the Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN). Yahoo introduced YPN a few years ago as a competitive product to Google Adsense. Those are the text and graphic banners you see on many sites (including this page) with a small type "Ads by Google".
The reaction to YPN was initially mixed. Some sites even claimed better earnings with YPN, ditching Adsense. YPN was also a good alternative for sites that found themselves banned from Adsense because of certain rules or abuse. Apparently YPN was more forgiving. I did try YPN on this site for a couple of months but in the end returned to Adsense. Yahoo just couldn't compete with the relevancy power and thus the earning potential of Google's platform.
A couple of years ago Yahoo did embark on an ambitious project, dubbed Panama, to revamp and strengthen its advertising platform, but obviously the results weren't as favorable as they had hoped.
In the end it appears that, like me, many publishers abandoned YPN and returned to Adsense or joined other competing networks. I can imagine Google's glee upon learning of YPN's demise, although this may not have a material effect on their operations. As for consumers, While the effect on the online advertising market will likely be minimal, having fewer competitors in any market is usually not a good thing.