Microsoft Buying Another Ad Co. WPP Group Next?


Steve Ballmer says he is “hell-bent” on making the ad thing work, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is. Todd Bishop of SeattlePI reports that Microsoft is now buying yet another ad exchange:

Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft’s Platforms and Services Division, just told financial analysts here in Redmond that the company is acquiring AdECN, an online ad exchange. There’s no official word yet. Here’s what he said:

“Today, we are acquiring AdECN, a company that launched an exchange within the last year that has 37 members, ad networks. The exchange concept is similar to Nasdaq, which serves as the hub for financial brokerages. The Nasdaq enables all parties to come together and have access through a neutral party to a larger pool of supply and demand for their clients. In the ad business, the ad exchange does a similar thing. It provides liquidity — liquidity for publishers, liquidity for advertisers. And so with this AdECN acquisition, it complements the work we’ve done with adCenter. It extends the work that aQuantive brings. And it now enables us to move forward with all of the core components that we need to enable this ad platform.”

Anyone with an ad network to sell should clearly get his/her butt up to Redmond.  Jay?  Sir Martin?Jay Sears, SVP of NY’s ContextWeb, weighs in with thoughts, and puts in another plug for ContextWeb, on the next page:

AdECN is a network of networks and works/pre-revenue. Current exchanges focus on remnant inventory (RightMedia/YHOO, DoubleClick/AdEx/Google, MSFT/AdECN)

ContextWeb’s ADSDAQ Focuses on:

  • Premium Inventory (others focused on remnant)
  • Open to Everyone (others focused on “fat tail” only)
  • Contextual Tradable Units / proprietary technology adds value to inventory (others are transactional w no value add)
  • Price control – Long tail publishers can name their CPM price via AskPrice (others are revenue share/remnant/no price control
  • Our ADSDAQ Exchange is at scale and reaches 1 in 3 US Internet users

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