Microsoft Goes After Business-Minded Consumer
corner the financial services sector, Microsoft has forged another
distribution and ad sales partnership, this time with The Wall
increasingly becoming a centerpiece of Microsoft�s business
strategy. In October, its chief executive Steve Ballmer said
advertising would make up 25% of the company's total revenue within
a few years. The pronouncement came shortly after Microsoft paid $6
billion for advertising technology powerhouse aQuantive. �This deal
is a strong indicator that we're gaining significant traction with
our advertising platform,� aQuantive founder Brian McAndrews said.
aQuantive�s Atlas division, McAndrews and Microsoft plan to soon
provide advertisers with logs of all the sites where consumers
encounter their ads online so they can more effectively plan their
now serve as the exclusive third-party provider of contextual and
paid search advertising for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
of sites, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Barrons.com,
MarketWatch.com, and AllThingsD.com, among others.
sites add an estimated 20 million unique visitors per month to the
extended Microsoft network, giving advertisers access to an
increasingly deep financial services vertical. In recent weeks and
month, Microsoft has reached similar deals with CNBC, MSN Money, and
financial information provider Edgar Online.
�We think we�ve
pretty much locked up the market for business-minded consumers,�
said Jon Tinter, general manager, strategy and business development
for Microsoft. Still, Tinter acknowledged that the deal is unlikely
to satisfy advertisers. �They�ll want more inventory,� he said.
�That�s their biggest demand, today.�
Since launching its adCenter hub last year, Microsoft has signed on
roughly 100,000 advertisers, and plans to offer advertising
throughout its entire product line. Firmly rooted in its history as
a technology company, Microsoft last summer also opened a research
center dedicated to online advertising.