The FINANCIAL — AOL Inc. and Microsoft on June 29 announced a global, enterprise-level partnership where AOL will assume management and sales responsibility for all of Microsoft’s display, mobile and video advertising inventory in nine key global markets — the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan. AOL will represent inventory from across Microsoft’s suite of leading online brands, including MSN Homepage and verticals, Outlook Mail, Xbox, Skype and ads in apps.
AOL’s success has been driven by its strength and leadership in unleashing both sides of the marketing “barbell” – premium consumer experiences driven by sophisticated programmatic platforms. The April launch of ONE by AOL, the first cross-screen programmatic advertising platform with integrated multi-touch attribution optimizing campaigns from Web to TV, positioned the company to take on additional demand and inventory pools with the goal of driving superior outcomes for publishers and advertisers.
The expanded partnership with Microsoft builds on that momentum and meaningfully expands AOL’s global footprint, while simplifying the ecosystem for advertisers. The arrangement will improve ad campaign efficiency and effectiveness through the delivery of scaled premium inventory across display, video and mobile, and enables marketers to deeply target premium audiences globally in key verticals, including autos, entertainment, health & fitness, lifestyle, money, news, sports, travel, and weather, according to AOL.
The partnership includes a new 10-year global search and search advertising agreement between AOL and Microsoft that leverages Microsoft’s exceptional search capabilities to deliver innovative search solutions for consumers, advertisers and partners. Both companies will enable AOL users to access a world-class search experience across all screens. AOL will transition to a Bing-powered search solution beginning January 1, 2016.
Commenting on the partnership, AOL President, Bob Lord said, “We have enjoyed a terrific relationship with Microsoft, and this expanded partnership is a win for both companies and our advertiser partners as our industry continues to rapidly transform and evolve. This collaboration further validates our leadership position in digital advertising and the shift to automation, while also allowing Microsoft to focus on what they do best: industry leading services and search innovation.”
“This deal is further evidence of the quality of Bing results and the performance of the Bing Ads marketplace,” said Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft. “And we will continue our focus on delivering world class consumer services and content and look forward to partnering with AOL to market them.”