Digg Ditches Microsoft To Sell Custom Ads Alone

Digg is ending its two-year exclusive ad deal with Microsoft a year early to focus on direct sales, ClickZ reports.

Digg will sell its own ads in custom, non-industry standard formats, as well as some ads that conform to IAB standards. Microsoft will continue to sell remnant ads for Digg.

A good move for Digg. (And probably barely a blip on Microsoft’s radar.)

Like most social networking sites, the key to making money at Digg is big, flashy, custom campaigns for advertisers relevant to Digg’s tech-savvy audience — not boring banner ads that many Digg users block, anyway. Digg will get the most bang for its buck selling those campaigns itself, not sharing the revenue with Microsoft.

As for Microsoft, “custom” is something the company is promising to do more of soon.

ClickZ: “We want to do custom,” said [VP U.S., Microsoft Advertising Robin] Domeniconi, who was appointed in December to oversee a dizzying array of ad products at Microsoft. Those products — represented by over 1,100 sellers — include MSN, Microsoft Media Network, Live Search, partner deals like those with Facebook and Digg, and game products like Massive and Xbox Live, among others.

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