AOL and Microsoft have today announced a global partnership where AOL will assume full management and responsibility for all of Microsoft's display advertising inventory. This will include MSN, Outlook.com, Xbox, Skype as well as adverts shown in apps in a total of nine different countries; United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan.
The deal may have been strengthened by AOL's launch of One this April 2015. "One by AOL" is a platform allowing advertisers to optimize their ad campaigns across multiple channels including display, video, and television. AOL's existing ad products, such as Adap.tv,
With the launch of One with the purchase by Verizon of AOL for $4.4 last month and now this big deal with Microsoft it certainly looks like AOL is looking to expand significantly AOL's global footprint. It already has over 380 million monthly multiplatform consumers between its premium brands (Moviefone, Engadget, TechCrunch, Makers, MapQuest and most significantly the Huffington Post).
The partnership between Microsoft and AOL includes a 10-year global search and advertising agreement that leverages Microsoft's Bing search capabilities. AOL is due to the transition to a Bing Powered solution at the beginning of next year, which should help increase Bing's share of the search market. As of 17th September 2014, Google had 67.4 percent share of the market, with Microsoft \ Yahoo on 29.3 percent (both run off Bing), and AOL had a fairly minor 1.3 percent share. However, with the potential cross-marketing and other deals that may result from this partnership it puts Bing in a very commanding position for future growth.
AOL President, Bob Lord, stressed that this partnership is a big win for both companies:
We have enjoyed a terrific relationship with Microsoft, and this expanded partnership is a win for both companies and our advertiser partners as our industry continues to rapidly transform and evolve.
This collaboration further validates our leadership position in digital advertising and the shift to automation, while also allowing Microsoft to focus on what they do best: industry leading services and search innovation.
This deal is further evidence of the quality of Bing results and the performance of the Bing Ads marketplace [...] And we will continue our focus on delivering world class consumer services and content and look forward to partnering with AOL to market them.