“We’ve received requests to make some of our user data available in our Exchange,” Strong said. “And some of those targeting capabilities are available to our customers through our Programmatic Direct offering … where we feel more comfortable making targetable user data available to our buyers.”
Microsoft limits the targeting opportunities on its Exchange to retain control over the types of ads that are aimed at users.
“On exchanges, you have a number of bidders who are listening to the request, but not necessarily buying the impression from you,” Strong said. “We have a social contract with our users in terms of how we use their data and we only want to allow their data to be targeted when we’re part of the transaction.”
Last week, Microsoft appointed longtime employee Satya Nadella to succeed outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. While the company’s total revenue increased 14% to $24.5 billion from the same period last year (according to its Q2 2014 report), the company lags behind Facebook and Google in ad revenue. Microsoft pulled in $2.9 billion in global ad revenue in 2013, whereas Facebook and Google earned $6.4 billion and $38.6 billion, respectively, according to eMarketer.