Microsoft's New Web Ad Deal With WPP's 24/7 Media Explained In Plain English

dave moore 24/7 media24/7 Media CEO Dave Moore

Photo: 24/7 Media

Microsoft Advertising and 24/7 Media’s new partnership will likely significantly increase demand for the ad inventory offered by 24/7’s web publishing clients by allowing Microsoft’s advertisers to buy space offered on the WPP unit’s automated web ad trading desk.It will also eliminate discrepancies in the performance numbers generated by those ads by more fully integrating Microsoft’s Atlas ad server with 24/7’s publisher ad server Open AdStream.

That, in a nutshell, is the significance of the jargon-filled press release the two companies put out this morning. The New York Times added that the deal comes in addition to a pact between Microsoft, Yahoo! and AOL that allows the three companies to sell ads on each other’s networks.

Previously, 24/7’s automated web trading desk—its “demand-side platform,” in industry terms—only offered web ad inventory to WPP’s clients. That inventory includes publishers such as Vice, Dominion Enterprises, Daily Motion and Business Insider. (24/7 also has a sales team that calls on clients outside WPP’s portfolio for generally high-priced publishing deals, but not for DSP trading, in which ads are bought on a commodity basis, in real-time automated bidding).

Now 24/7’s network of publishers will be offered to Microsoft advertising clients, which in the past have included Kit Kat, Wendy’s and Red Bull. Ad revenues grew $51 million, or 9 per cent, to $639 million in Q1 2012 at Microsoft. That growth came from search, however. Microsoft reported “decreased display ad revenue”—the type of ads in this deal—in the same period.

24/7 serves about 200 billion ad impression per month on its exchange.

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