Microsoft Goes Local With AP

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The first product of Microsoft’s aQuantive acquisition is a combination of MSN Video and Atlas AdManager to create a video ad serving platform for the Associated Press that will enable AP media-member and customer websites to serve up local advertising with local content.

That accounts for about 1,800 U.S. affiliates using AP’s Online Video Network. Microsoft gives examples like WCBD-TV in Charleston, S.C., and The Knoxville News Sentinel in Knoxville, Tenn.

Microsoft and the AP hope the new delivery platform will drive deeper audience participation and generate advertising revenue for affiliates.

"Video advertising is growing in popularity, and the ability to attach local ads to local content is something that customers like the AP are seeing as a tremendous competitive advantage for their business," said Karl Siebrecht, president of Atlas.

Local ads will be served via Atlas AdManager, and sold directly via OVN affiliates; national video ad inventory will be served via Microsoft adCenter, sold exclusively through Microsoft’s advertising sales force.

"The competition for eyeballs online in the news business is very tough, and our affiliates are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to more actively engage their users," said Jessica Hawk, director of Online Video for AP.

Hawk also called Microsoft’s local ad-serving technology "a big step forward" in building viewer loyalty while building additional revenue for affiliate sites.

Microsoft Goes Local With AP
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