Microsoft Expands Partnership with AppNexus

Tim Maytom

Microsoft-Level39.jpgMicrosoft has given responsibility for more of its advertising sales business to AppNexus, the world's largest independent ad tech firm, expanding an existing partnership so that 100 per cent of its advertising in a number of key markets is sold programmatically.

The change to the partnership will see all of Microsoft's advertising sales in Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and six other European markets handled programmatically from the beginning of October next year, and expand the number of Microsoft markets that AppNexus is used in from 39 to 58.

AppNexus will also form a new unit, the Supply Evangelism Team, to differentiate Microsoft's ad inventory and ensure all of it can reach the market programmatically by working with publishers and brands.

"This is a major milestone for the longstanding global Microsoft/AppNexus partnership," said Michael Rubenstein, president of AppNexus. "A leading publisher going 100 per cent programmatic in key markets also signifies that our entire industry has reached a programmatic tipping point.

"We are eager to build on this success and lead the way for publishers who are trying to leverage technology to drive innovation, efficiency, and strategic advantage over slower movers."

The expansion of the AppNexus partnership sees Microsoft take another step away from the display advertising business, following its sale of its display ad tech unit earlier this year which saw 1,200 staff moved over to AOL as it took over Microsoft's direct sales business in nine of the company's largest markets including the US and UK.

Microsoft's existing partnership with AppNexus has reportedly been extremely successful, with revenues remaining consistent but profitability increasing thanks to programmatic sales. The expansion, which will see a substantial increase in revenues for AppNexus, will no doubt be popular with both companies.