AOL and Microsoft have today announced a global partnership where AOL will assume full management and responsibility for all of Microsoft’s display advertising inventory. This will include MSN, Outlook.com, Xbox, Skype as well as adverts shown in apps in a total of nine different countries; United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.
The deal may have been strengthened by AOL’s launch of One this April 2015. “One by AOL” is a platform allowing advertisers to optimize their ad campaigns across multiple channels including display, video and television. AOL’s existing ad products, such as Adap.tv, Adlearn Open Platform and Converto were all renamed variations of “One by AOL” in some clever rebranding.
Couple the launch of One with the purchase by Verizon of AOL for $4.4 last month and now this big deal with Microsoft it certainly looks like AOL is looking to significantly expand AOL’s global footprint, which already has over 380 million monthly multi-platform consumers between its premium brands (Moviefone, Engadget, TechCrunch, Makers, MapQuest and most significantly the Huffington Post).
The partneship between Microsoft and AOL includes a 10-year global search and advertising agreement that leverages Microsoft’s Bing search capabilities. AOL is due to transition to a Bing Powered solution at the beginning of next year, which should help increase Bing’s share of the search market. As of 17th September 2014, Google had 67.4% share of the market, with Microsoft \ Yahoo on 29.3% (both run off Bing), and AOL had a fairly minor 1.3% share. However, with the potential cross marketing and other deals that may result from this partnership it puts Bing in a very powerful position for future growth.
AOL President, Bob Lord stressed that this partnership is a big win for both companies:
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.
Rik can der Kooi, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft praised the quality of the Bing search results and the strength of its Ad marketplace: