Microsoft has announced that it will be handling over responsibility for display ad sales, including mobile and video, in 9 key markets to AOL. The 9 markets include Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.
As part of the deal, all AOL properties will now be powered by Bing search for a period of 10 years, breaking their longstanding partnership with Google. Bing will now power search and search advertising across the AOL portfolio of sites. Bing currently has 20 per cent organic marketshare in the US, though its share worldwide is much meagre.
“By introducing one selling motion across AOL’s world class portfolio of sites, such as Huffington Post, Engadget, Adap.tv and TechCrunch and Microsoft’s much-loved consumer services, including MSN, Xbox, Outlook.com, and Skype, we are uniquely positioned to deliver more scale of premium inventory and target audiences across display, video and mobile. Our advertising customers will have one consistent experience as we transition our sales and trade marketing employees in these nine markets to AOL, subject to compliance with local law and employee consultation obligations,” said Microsoft in a blog post.
In addition, Microsoft has also expanded its partnership with ad network AppNexus. Under the new terms of the partnership, AppNexus will become Microsoft’s exclusive programmatic technology and sales partner in 10 markets—Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. “Business in these markets will transfer over the coming months, subject to compliance with local law,” said Microsoft.
The two announcements are being seen by many as a reconfirmation of Microsoft’s changing focus on search and search advertising.