Microsoft expand advertising partnership with AppNexus

As part of the ongoing restructuring, Microsoft continues to make moves to streamline its business even more, especially in lagging parts like display advertising. The latest move involves expanding its partnership with ad tech giant AppNexus, reports Business Insider.

Specifically, the partnership has been expanded to cover 58 global markets, up from the previous 39, in which Microsoft ads will be bought programmatically using AppNexus’ technology. This extends from AppNexus’ previous announcement last week of bringing Microsoft ad sales 100% programmatic in 10 European countries, as well as the formation of a Supply Evangelist Team (SET) being set up specifically to work with Microsoft ads. No jobs were affected as a result of the expansion.

“Microsoft has a long standing relationship with AppNexus and we’re expanding our existing global technology partnership to simplify the buying process for our customers and resellers, across both reserved and programmatic inventory.” – Microsoft spoke person.

The partnership expansion marks another step of Microsoft moving away from the display advertising business.  Microsoft already transferred 1200 advertising employees and a large part of the business to AOL earlier this year in exchange for a sweet search deal, and initiated the partnership with AppNexus. Microsoft’s deeped relationship with AppNexus also poses interesting questions regarding another big advertising partner, AOL, as profit has reportedly risen dramatically in markets AppNexus took over. It should also be noted that Microsoft is a big investor of AppNexus, pouring $50 million into the company in 2010.

The other part of Microsoft’s advertising business is Bing, which finally stopped being a money black hole for the company, bringing in more than $1 billion in revenue and becoming profitable this year. With the extended partnership, it’s clear Microsoft is focusing on the parts that work while cutting away excess to improve its bottom line; it will be interesting to see how the company will evolve in the future.

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Which part of Microsoft do you think should be worked on next?