Microsoft expands partnerships with AOL and AppNexus, Bing to power search for AOL properties

by Rik van der Kooi, Microsoft corporate vice president of advertising and consumer monetization, and Frank Holland, Microsoft corporate vice president of A&O

Today we are announcing new levels of partnership with both AOL and AppNexus.

Bing will now power search and search advertising across the AOL portfolio of sites. This 10-year agreement will enable AOL users to have access to world-class search powered by Bing across the company’s global portfolio of sites. Now with 20 percent organic market share in the U.S., Bing continues to grow organically as well as through key partnerships like the one with AOL. This deal with AOL is the latest to validate the quality of Bing results and the performance of the Bing Ads marketplace. Bing is also an integral part of popular first- and third-party devices and services.

In addition to the search partnership, AOL will become our seller of all display formats, including mobile and video, for the Microsoft portfolio across nine markets (Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States).

Microsoft and AOL share a commitment to customer service and collaboration, and together we will create a powerhouse media offering with a remarkable set of differentiated assets. By introducing one selling motion across AOL’s world class portfolio of sites, such as Huffington Post, Engadget, Adap.tv and TechCrunch and Microsoft’s much-loved consumer services, including MSN, Xbox, Outlook.com, and Skype, we are uniquely positioned to deliver more scale of premium inventory and target audiences across display, video and mobile. Our advertising customers will have one consistent experience as we transition our sales and trade marketing employees in these nine markets to AOL, subject to compliance with local law and employee consultation obligations.

With our expanded AppNexus partnership, they will become our exclusive programmatic technology and sales partner in 10 markets (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland). Business in these markets will transfer over the coming months, subject to compliance with local law.

Today, AppNexus is the lead technology partner for our programmatic business, across 39 different markets around the world. Last year, we started a pilot program in the Nordic countries to take those markets to a fully programmatic sales motion. We feel very good about the results – more than 50 percent of business in these markets today is programmatic and we’re taking that to the next level with today’s announcement across the 10 markets. The expansion of our partnership will give advertisers programmatic access to more supply of premium, brand-safe Microsoft inventory, while simplifying the buying process and capturing the momentum of explosive programmatic growth in the industry.

Today’s news is evidence of Microsoft’s increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services. The evolution in our approach to display advertising allows us to keep this focus, while working with industry leaders to market our services. We remain as committed today as we have been in the past decade to digital advertising and its effectiveness in delivering free services to consumers worldwide.

Posted by Jennifer Chen
Microsoft News Center Staff