Microsoft To Web Bigwigs: Help Us Design Your New Ad Platform


We’ve known for a while Microsoft’s (MSFT) ad platform is a mess, something even new online chief Qi Lu acknowledges and pledges to fix.

So how does Microsoft go about making things easier and better for content partners? Easy: It’s going to ask them.

And check out the names of the partners it’s looking for input from.

Microsoft Corp. today announced the creation of the Publisher Leadership Council, a collaboration with a select group of leading Web publishers who will consult on the development of Microsoft PubCenter, its next-generation advertising platform for digital media publishers.

The Publisher Leadership Council comprises digital media executives and discipline-leading practitioners, including charter members from IAC, Dow Jones Online, The New York Times Co., Time Inc. and Viacom Inc. This group will provide firsthand perspectives and insights to inform PubCenter features and functionality, including enhanced targeting, measurement and reporting functionality. Partner company executives will form a steering committee, focused on framing the key challenges and opportunities facing the digital media industry — and the role of technology in solving them. To help Microsoft gain greater insights and perspectives, representatives will have the unique opportunity to inform platform design and feature prioritization.

Fantastic idea. No one knows what these sites need better than themselves. And even if nothing else comes out of the initiative, Microsoft will have developed deeper and more personal relationships with some of the biggest players in the space.

We like this new approach a lot, Qi Lu seems off to a good start.