The partnership that has Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo cross-selling display ads on the other sites is now open for business and up and running, according to a blog post from Microsoft.
The relationship, which first came to light in September of last year, is partly a reaction to Google’s increasing dominance in the display ad universe. Google overtook Yahoo in display market share for the first time last year, according to IDC. Facebook, too, has become — and is growing even greater — a major threat in the display category.
Microsoft says its Microsoft Media Network (powered by the Microsoft Advertising Exchange), AOL’s Advertising.com and Yahoo! Network Plus are now leveraging real-time bidding to offer ad opportunities across all of the networks’ premium owned and operated display inventory.
The idea for all involved will be to benefit sales-wise by being able to offer greater scale and reach — and present an attractive alternative to Google and Facebook — even if the inventory is on competitors’ sites. From a publisher perspective, they’re hoping to get rid of more inventory at premium prices, rather than letting them go to an ad network.