announces that it has built a world-class video ad serving solution for the Associated Press Online Video Network using MSN Video and Atlas AdManager. AP media-member and customer Web sites will now have the capabilities to sell and deliver local advertisements with local content. This is the first joint solution from MSN and Atlas since the close of the aQuantive Inc. acquisition, marking a major collaborative milestone for Microsoft's newly formed Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group.
Powered by a "white-labeled" version of the MSN Video player and featuring exclusive AP content produced specifically for the Web, the AP OVN provides high-quality, in-depth reports from the world's largest news-gathering agency, reaching 61 million unique visitors and serving more than 1,800 affiliates across the United States. With the new ad serving platform, the AP OVN will now be able to serve local video ad inventory, allowing such OVN affiliates as WCBD-TV in Charleston, S.C., and The Knoxville News Sentinel in Knoxville, Tenn., to drive deeper audience engagement in their sites and generate additional advertising revenue.
"Video advertising is growing in popularity, and the ability to attach local ads to local content is something that customers like the AP are seeing as a tremendous competitive advantage for their business," said Karl Siebrecht, president of Atlas. "This solution for AP is a great example of several Microsoft teams coming together to deliver real value for a customer, and we are thrilled to have created this solution for one of the most dynamic news agencies on the planet."
The hybrid ad serving platform will use Atlas AdManager to serve local video ads that will be sold directly by the OVN affiliates. National video ad inventory will be served by Microsoft adCenter and sold exclusively by the Microsoft advertising sales force.
"The competition for eyeballs online in the news business is very tough, and our affiliates are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to more actively engage their users," said Jessica Hawk, director of Online Video for AP. "The ability to attach local ads to local content via this new solution from Microsoft is a big step forward in our capabilities to deliver the type of experience that we believe will drive deeper engagement, increased value and ultimately loyalty for end users, while also driving additional ad revenue for our affiliate sites."