Microsoft is enhancing its mobile advertising platform at long last. An announcement to this effect was made last week, at the online advertising leadership forum, advance08.
Henceforth, mobile display ads will be shown to all Windows Live for mobile users across the U.S. U.K. France and Spain on both Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger. The ads will have to follow guidelines set by the Mobile Marketing Association.
According to Chris Ward, Commercial Director of Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, the launch of Display Advertising on Windows Live Mobile is an important milestone for their business and demonstrates the progress they have made in the field.
Brian Arbogast, Corporate Vice President of Mobile Services at Microsoft says, “In today’s connected world, the mobile device is emerging as a prime opportunity for advertisers to reach their audience.” Since Europe is estimated to have over 220.5 million mobile users, mobile advertising has become a fast growing field and advertising on Windows Live Mobile platforms will help advertisers to reach target audiences at all times and places.
Paramount Motion Pictures will be among the first in the U.K. to advertise through this means. Mobile advertising on Windows Live is expected to also be available in Germany, Italy and Netherlands shortly.
Microsoft also plans to include Live Search in the mobile advertising mix, but at present, the mobile search advertising facility will be confined to the U.S. on a ‘by-invitation-only’ basis. Microsoft plans to expand the mobile search advertising service later this year.
Google’s mobile search advertising service has been live for more than a year now, giving them sufficient time to establish a solid presence in the mobile search market and gather enough data to provide a far more intelligent service than Microsoft will be able to.
The delays in incorporating technology from ScreenTonic into the Microsoft Advertising service and launching a good mobile ad product are Microsoft’s fault alone, and they are likely to pay a heavy price for it, just as they are in the Internet search market at present.