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August 29, 2006

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 ;)

Posted by Jenstar at August 29, 2006 01:02 PM


Cool! And congrats. I hope you'll have a review for us soon.

Posted by: Patrix at August 29, 2006 05:51 PM

i didn't get an invite even though i'm one of their beta adcenter participant :-(

Posted by: Nick Pang at August 29, 2006 07:09 PM

Let us just hope they do a better job at click fraud than Y! or G

Learn from the mistakes of others, beforehand

Posted by: SearcH EngineS WEB at August 29, 2006 10:23 PM

This have the possibility to change the way we look at internet advertising again. Have to wait and see on the results. Really exciting.

Posted by: Mortgage Expert at August 29, 2006 11:49 PM

Well, M has a history of getting in late & then trying to buldoze into the market, only time will tell, whether they can be successful here. Jen, fast & usual, keep it up !

Posted by: Prash at August 30, 2006 12:33 AM

thank jennifer for the news.

Posted by: wentworth at August 30, 2006 06:53 AM


I'm not excited about this news as an advertiser, but I am eager to test as a publisher.

In the past, I've rarely if ever been able to get 'content' ads to work on adwords or yahoo - my advice to clients and friends is (now) to turn off content ads, as I've found them to be a waste of money.

Are your experiences different?

Thanks for the posting!


Posted by: terry whalen at August 30, 2006 08:34 AM

Microsoft should grab the market before Yahoo comes out of their prolong beta. M should open their program for the international publishers like us then and then only we are really interested in this whole business.

Posted by: chikung at August 30, 2006 04:49 PM

Terry - interesting to hear that. any idea how many advertisers don't buy into contextual ads? or should i say opt out - has G or Y ever disclosed any participation figures?

Cheers - Jen


Posted by: Willy at August 30, 2006 05:40 PM

This is really a good news for publisher. But I hope their beta will not be perpetual like yahoo.

Posted by: Ashok at August 31, 2006 09:38 AM

When do you plan to insert those ads on your blog or other site ? Just curious to see the effectiveness of the same. Keep me informed.


Posted by: gobroadband.in at August 31, 2006 11:50 AM

Good news for publishers I hope.

Posted by: Joseph Hunkins at August 31, 2006 12:26 PM

I'm definitely looking forward to joining this program as having alternatives to adsense would be good for everyone.

Posted by: Kanwal at August 31, 2006 01:19 PM

is this US only invitation?

Posted by: sjleee at September 1, 2006 10:45 PM

Any ideas about how to fish for one of these invites :)

Posted by: Tyler Banfield at September 1, 2006 10:52 PM

I've never met anyone who likes their screen real estate taken up with intrusive ads. I truly understand that it's a money maker 1% of everybody is a large market, but I wonder what that other 99% might want/need? I'm not looking forward to more ads....I hope they let users turn it off, not just the publishers.

Posted by: David Armstrong at September 2, 2006 06:10 AM

Considering how MSNPTC/1.0, Microsoft AdCenter spider, crawls the web and it works well as it is possible to see with http://adlab.microsoft.com/KTS/CCAT.aspx, I hope too that soon every one will be able to choose beetween AdSense and other contextual adv programs!

Posted by: Maurizio Mazzanti at September 2, 2006 06:43 AM

It would be nice to be able to try AdContents and compare it with YPN and AdSense. I too would love to find one of the invitations, but have not received one as of yet. Competition between YPN, AdSense and ContentAds will only be a good thing for publishers and advertisers from a payout rate, click-fraud rate and others.

Posted by: Halloween at September 2, 2006 05:40 PM