Home Ad Exchange News AOL-Microsoft Ad Deal Bears Fruit As MSN Receives New Injection Of Native Formats

AOL-Microsoft Ad Deal Bears Fruit As MSN Receives New Injection Of Native Formats


AOLMicrosoft’s ad offering is getting a facelift with the addition of premium ad formats from AOL, beginning first with its MSN.com property.

MSN will get access to five new ad types, including adaptive mobile units such as AOL’s Devil Full Page Flex. It’s the first major ad update for the company since Microsoft transferred its display ad business to Verizon-owned AOL last June.

The high-impact, expandable formats are available immediately in the US, Canada, Japan and Spain, with the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Brazil to come in March. AOL also plans to bring to MSN this quarter interactive video and linear units, including a branded skippable format.

Although these additional placements are for now limited to MSN, AOL certainly has other Microsoft properties on the mind.

“We’ll be looking at how we can develop new ad experiences that are complementary across all our environments,” said Gianluca Milano, senior director of premium formats product for AOL.

“All” environments means platforms across the AOL, Microsoft and Verizon fold, such as Skype, Outlook, Xbox, Microsoft’s mobile Ads-In-Apps program, which includes MSN Travel/Gaming, or foreseeably the Verizon mobile video service Go90. 

“For example, we’re looking at Xbox and how we can incorporate gamification functionality that can be very contextual and complementary to that particular experience, but where maybe there’s also opportunities where we leverage the native feel of Skype,” Milano said. “We’ve been looking at creating some unique ad experiences that leverage Verizon data.”

Milano didn’t divulge what those unique experiences are, but said Verizon/AOL is in the process of running tests for products that remove friction from consumers’ mobile journeys.

The expanded ad formats on MSN point to more programmatic access to Microsoft’s offering. Before AOL entered the picture, MSN video inventory was largely direct sold. As for game console Xbox, sources said its inventory was virtually absent from the exchanges.

“One of the things we’ve focused on is integrating our tech stacks, so obviously we’ll be able to serve into a direct-sold [instance] but they’re also leveraging our ONE by AOL: Video product (formerly Adap.tv) to support some of the non-reserved inventory,” Milano said. “We’re definitely making that available more programmatically.”

AOL will help Microsoft maximize yield more programmatically across its properties and its unified sales team is responsible for MSN’s direct reserved sales business. There is still a relationship with AppNexus for some of the non-reserved inventory and AOL expects to maintain an open relationship there.


AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

Beyond the native ads and interactive video on MSN, AOL is also adding premium formats to Millennial Media’s network of 65,000 apps and claims it will expand in-app rich media by four times through a new integration with Twitter’s MoPub and Nexage (now part of ONE by AOL: Mobile).

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong has referred to 2015 as AOL’s investment year, while 2016 will be about execution and uniting some of its key acquisitions.

“Some of the things we’re doing now from a product standpoint are starting to thread some of those investments together,” Milano added. “We have a lot of great formats we’ll be able to scale across Microsoft and Millennial, as well as through the MoPub and Nexage integrations.”

Must Read

It’s Open Season On SaaS As Brands Confront Their Own Subscription Fatigue

For CFOs and CEOs, we’ve entered a kind of open hunting season on martech SaaS.

Brian Lesser Is The New Global CEO Of GroupM

If you were wondering whether Brian Lesser was planning to take some time off after handing the CEO reins of InfoSum to Lauren Wetzel last week – here’s your answer.

Comic: S.P. O'Middleman's

TripleLift CEO Dave Clark Abruptly Exits After Setting The SSP On A New Trajectory

Dave Clark, who’s led TripleLift for the past two years, is stepping down, effective immediately, and is being replaced by a coterie of TripleLifters.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
shopping cart

Moloco Invests In Its Competitor Topsort As The Retail Media Stakes Go Up

Topsort can lean into Moloco’s algorithmic personalization, while Moloco benefits from Topsort’s footprint with local retailers in the US and in Latin America.

CDP BlueConic Acquires First-Party Data Collection Startup Jebbit

On Wednesday, customer data platform BlueConic bought Jebbit, which creates quizzes, surveys and other interactive online plugs for collecting data from customers.

Comic: The Showdown (Google vs. DOJ)

The DOJ’s Witness List For The Google Antitrust Trial Is A Who’s Who Of Advertising

The DOJ published the witness list for its upcoming antitrust trial against Google, and it reads like the online advertising industry’s answer to the Social Register.