Read more on the Microsoft advertising blog, but it's official as CVP Rik van der Kooi of Microsoft says, "I’m pleased to announce that the Microsoft Advertising Exchange is open for business and that the integration of our ad exchange with the AppNexus real-time bidding (RTB) platform is complete in the U.S."
And, what do bidders on the Microsoft Ad Exchange win?
As a result of this milestone, all Windows Live non-guaranteed inventory is now available through the Exchange in the U.S., and in the coming weeks, all non-guaranteed U.S. MSN inventory should be fully integrated. We expect to light-up the Exchange in non-U.S. markets very soon and will share details when we can.
That's a lot of inventory. Not to mention a lot of juicy, email inventory.
What's interesting with Microsoft's announcement is that it's seems more like a sell-side platform or private exchange in that the only publisher members selling in the Microsoft Advertising Exchange is Microsoft itself. But, that seems like "just for now" as van der Kooi outlines his expectations for publishers in the post. Nevertheless, Microsoft has moved forward (and out of alphas and betas) with its partner and RTB-technology investment, AppNexus, into the brave new world of real-time display as van der Kooi had discussed in a February interview with AdExchanger.com.
It will also be interesting to hear about how much non-guaranteed inventory is funneled into the Exchange versus what is sold on a guaranteed basis by Microsoft's direct sales media team. On the buy side, DSPs and ad networks will be playing the guaranteed/non-guaranteed game as they manage their own buy-side yield. As they do with Yahoo! today, they will be able to get on top of the ad network stack (and see the user earlier in the session which may improve performance) when they buy direct from Microsoft versus when they buy through the exchange.
By John Ebbert