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Microsoft eyes TV ad market

Microsoft, still reeling from its collapsed deal with Yahoo!, has signalled its intent to muscle its way into the global TV advertising market with the acquisition of interactive TV ad firm Navic Networks.

The deal, announced at Cannes Advertising Festival, will allow Microsoft to extend its ad platform to television in the US. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

US-based Navic works with cable companies to provide interactive television services, such as polls or trivia questions, allowing viewers to interact with remote controls.

It also provides tools to measure audience behaviour via its ad network called Admira, which allows advertisers to deliver more targeted TV advertising.

Its network of cable companies includes Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter and Dish Network.

The company's technology is used to run ad campaigns that are targeted at specific audiences.

The initiative allows viewers to access interactive features such as the option to access long-form content.

Brian McAndrews, senior vice-president of advertiser and publisher solutions at Microsoft, said: "We're clearly making a commitment to emerging media. In the long run, we want to be a platform across all media."

The deal is part of Microsoft's long-term plan to build a wide-ranging ad platform that would allow advertisers to place, target and track ads on the internet, mobile, video games and now TV.

It also allows Microsoft to keep up with Google, which is also making moves to enter the lucrative TV ad market.

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