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Microsoft adCenter inviting selected advertisers into ContentAds pilot

Interested in the Microsoft ContentAds beta? Selected advertisers just received invitations to participate in the new ContentAds pilot, which begins running this fall.

The email invited advertisers received mentioned the various MSN properties than contextually targeted ContentAds would appear on, such as MSN Real Estate and MSN Money, as well as others linked from the main MSN portal. However, it was key noticing the exact text (emphasis mine in the following) and what it means for publishers.

Content Ads is Microsoft’s next product that allows advertisers to place
content-targeted, text-based advertisements primarily on Microsoft-owned properties
including MSN Money, Real Estate, and many others within the
www.msn.com portal.

This could conceivably mean that ads for this pilot could also appear on non-MSN sites, meaning publishers might be able to get into this program before it eventually (and officially) launches as a full-service publisher program similar to Google AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network. This is pretty good news for publishers waiting for a new major player to come onto the contextual advertising scene, especially those who are looking for a small-scale publisher solution for those who don’t have millions of impressions a month.

ContentAds will also be utilizing demographic targeting, geo-targeting and incremental bidding tools for all advertisements as well, so advertisers will have full flexibility on their ads appearing through ContentAds.

No ideas on how many advertisers have been invited to participate at this early stage, but I suspect these invites will be pretty hot. And yes, I have been invited 😉

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