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Old 03-14-2005   #1
dannysullivan
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New Search Ads Program Coming From MSN

It's been rumored that MSN will be coming out with its own self-serve ad program. Lots of talk about this especially at the recent SES NY show, where it was almost as much an open secret as the Yahoo expansion of its contextual ad program. Now Bloomberg is putting out news of the program: Microsoft Plans Service to Sell Internet Search Ads, with more news promised when a news embargo lifts. Assuming MSN does start its own program, will you sign-on? Got news you've already heard as an advertiser? Share and discuss below, and we'll also update as more comes out.

Last edited by dannysullivan : 03-15-2005 at 07:25 AM. Reason: removed broken link
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Old 03-15-2005   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannysullivan
It's been rumored that MSN will be coming out with its own self-serve ad program. Lots of talk about this especially at the recent SES NY show, where it was almost as much an open secret as the Yahoo expansion of its contextual ad program. Now Bloomberg is putting out news of the program: [/url] Microsoft Plans Service to Sell Internet Search Ads, with more news promised when a news embargo lifts. Assuming MSN does start its own program, will you sign-on? Got news you've already heard as an advertiser? Share and discuss below, and we'll also update as more comes out.
They are definitely coming out with it. I can try and get more details tomorrow from my Ad Rep (have a decent spend on the feature listings). Plus spoke with the hiring agency.
The conjecture it appears is exactly when. Some - myself included - think end of year. Others look at June 30 when Overture contract runs out.
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Old 03-15-2005   #3
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Doesn't the current Overture/MSN contract run out in June, 2006 - i.e. in 15 months time?

Quote:
Yahoo’s Overture Extends Sponsored Search Relationship With MSN Through June 2006

PASADENA, Calif., November 17, 2004 -- Overture Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) and provider of essential online marketing services, today announced the extension of its sponsored search distribution relationship with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the United States and internationally through June 2006.

Under the terms of the extension, Overture will continue to provide its sponsored search results to MSN sites in the U.S. and Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The previous agreement ran through June 2005.
http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir...item_id=646583
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Old 03-15-2005   #4
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Here is another story from the FinancialTimes:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7185050/

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Old 03-15-2005   #5
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Sorry forgot to mention the year!
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Old 03-15-2005   #6
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Originally Posted by Chris_D
Doesn't the current Overture/MSN contract run out in June, 2006 - i.e. in 15 months time?
yep. But they can afford not to wait until it runs out.
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Old 03-15-2005   #7
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I'm with you, Aussie -- I think toward the end of the year is more likely for a rollout, and I'd suspect we'd see Yahoo as a backfill until the advertisers have filled in the new program.

The Yahoo contract does expire June 2006. But it's typical with these things that you can end earlier, if you want. That's what happened with both the Looksmart and Inktomi contracts. June 2006 certainly would be a hard date for when you'd completely expect them to swamp over, but they could bring it up in scale before then, I'd say.
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Old 03-15-2005   #8
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=a1lGN8_MdFJM -
Quote:
``If you're MSN, you could go to the group of top 500 advertisers and say, `We'll give you X percent off the price you're getting from Yahoo and Google','' Pyykkonen said... winning customers with price cuts may be considered a ``pretty good use of cash,'' Pyykkonen said.
I can't wait to see the hysteria on DISCOUNTS, if they ever come to play. "How come Amazon can bid $0.10 and rank number one, and i have to bid $1.35 to rank second??? MSN SUX...", will be the cry from the disenfranchised.

That is the WORST Search Strategy I have ever heard. Simply terrible. It is a Market, let it play out as a market. Demand > supply, so why offer discounts?? A week after launch, they would have a % of Yahoo's money, and more if they implement an AdWords like automated system.

A better bet to speed the transition would be to give top three to MSN PPC only, and then fill the right with Yahooverture + MSN results, with MSN's own PPC automatically outranking Yahooverture. That would get punters over to MSN quick smart, while keeping revenue stabilish for a while.

But what do I know, discounts would probably work as well, and I would be happy to take them

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Old 03-15-2005   #9
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Personally looking forward to seeing how a choice of Google, Yahoo! and MSN ads opens up the publisher market. Choice and competition can only be a good thing for publishers.
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Old 03-15-2005   #10
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Realistically I do not see it opening up more inventory right away. The searchers are already coveredat MSN by Yahoo... so the most significant change will be a significant drop in impressions and thus clicks and thus spends at Overture.
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Old 03-15-2005   #11
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Quote:
I can't wait to see the hysteria on DISCOUNTS, if they ever come to play.
I don't think that analyst has it right, honestly. Discount on what? Which bid? A bit at Yahoo? At Google? On an exact match? At which time of day? And why? I mean, we're going to buy MSN anyway -- we want the traffic.
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Old 03-15-2005   #12
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cat's out of the bag

So I think that MSN could most profit by separating contextual ad costs from the "standard" bids. Also, they will be in a position to benefit from the MSN packages bundled with many PC's being sold. If I was Yahoo, I would be scrambling right about now. As Aussie points out, the advertisers' cost at Overture will be lower, but will be evened out with new MSN costs for paid search providers.

For those that provide PPC Management, this will increase the workload, especially during setup. This could become an issue for paid search management firms that charge based on advertising (clicks) cost. More than likely, the setup fees will probably increase since there will now be three accounts to manage.
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Old 03-15-2005   #13
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Danny's right

We'll all buy as big a campaign as we have with Google or Overture. Question I have is will MSN change the deployment on their search results pages. That might be one factor that would influence the amount we'd be willing to pay per click.

If they leave everthing the same I'll just be moving some money over to MSN. My guess is that Yahoo hasn't been making a ton off of MSN anyway, if you're MSN you're going to negotiate some pretty thin margins.

It'll be nice to see the MSN PPC neatly separated from Yahoo though. My hunch is that bid prices will change accordingly. I suspect one or the other has a better conversion rate depending on the type of business you're in.
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Old 03-15-2005   #14
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Competition is good, sloath bad..

Great - not only do we have three/four major crawlers - but we'll have three top level pay per click providers too.

That's good for the market because the competition will help to expand choice. And it makes the advertisers and agencies less vulnerable to 'Look Smart' syndrome where the rules are changed overnight to the detriment of the customer base.

And inventory is bound to be greater because at the moment you can't pick whether your sponsored link is on Yahoo / MSN - but you will once MSN goes live.
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Old 03-15-2005   #15
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Within the past few weeks, a company on behalf of Microsoft contact me regarding a possible position regarding a new PPC type progam that MSN will be launching in the near future.

When talking to the interviewer, they are currently looking for people in the search marketing industry that have extensive knowledge managing PPC campaigns. Also, a few former coworkers were contacted regarding this as well.

It'll surely be interesting when its finally unveiled
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Old 03-15-2005   #16
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MSN has been selling PPC for some time now

A lot of people don't realize that MSN already directly sells PPC advertising to large accounts and has been for some time. If you have a big enough spend (>$75k/yr), then you can obtain one of the 3 top sponsored positions, over the Overture results. Obviously, whatever agreement MSN has with Overture/Yahoo does not prevent them from selling directly and using Overture as backfill. All they need now is some real PPC technology so that they can sell to smaller advertisers. Their present technology is a largely manual kludge.

Hmmm, I wonder if this is the reason my MSN rep wrote to me saying "I am out of office from from Monday, March 14th attending a National Sales Meeting in Redmond, with limited access to email. I will be returning back into the office on Monday, March 21st". In Redmond for training on the new system for selling PPC?

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Old 03-15-2005   #17
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What is worse Cline is the limitted email access in Redmond

I hope the new system is released with an API pretty quickly. The sooner there are throd party comprehesive bid management tools the better.
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Old 03-16-2005   #18
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What about the Overture patents?

What about the Overture patents on paid search engine advertising? How will MSN get around infringement?

Remember that Overture challenged Google over Adwords in court. Google had deep pockets - and if anyone was going to break the Overture patents in court - it was assumed to be Google.

http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/1004831

But then - just before the IPO - Google paid Yahoo with 2.7M Goog shares to settle the dispute.

http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3392531

And in return, Google got a perpetual license to the key Overture patent, as well as to several related Overture patents. And that's set a pretty high price for the licence......

So - will Yahoo! go after MSN's new paid search advertising product in court for patent infringement?
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Old 03-16-2005   #19
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Posted my article now that it's official here: MSN To Launch Its Own Paid Listings Program. If others spot good articles post-announcement, please do contribute.

The lawsuit question is answered at the end. Well, not. The official MSN response is "no comment."

Honestly, I suspect behind the scenes, the two companies will work out an agreement. Google's effectively set a price on settlement. Yahoo will want to keep partnering with MSN in other areas for as long as they can. Yahoo also wants MSN to put the best possible spin on effectively dumping them, to protect its stock. I could see the two companies -- partners unlike Yahoo-Google -- reaching an accomodation.
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Old 03-16-2005   #20
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Talking can't resist

I love the French, don't get me wrong. I lived in Bordeaux for a period and it was wonderful and so were the people...BUT.... I couldn't resist...


does anyone think that if MSN fails in France that they will surrender?
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