Microsoft isn’t keen to be left behind in the yet to be fully explored area of targeted TV advertising. Google has been looking into this, as have the cable companies, and now Microsoft is jumping into the mix with their recent acquisition of Navic Networks.
Navic Networks is a seven-year-old firm from Waltham, Mass. that targets interactive advertising through cable set-top boxes. Microsoft acquired them for an undisclosed sum. Currently Navic’s technology is used by 35 million cable customers of Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Charter Commucations.
Microsoft, as usual, is late to the party. Google got into this a whole two years ago, but fortunately for Microsoft, Google hasn’t jumped out of the gate with any significant leads. Google pulled Google TV out of beta in April, but right now is limited to just DirecTV’s 16 million subscribers. Business hasn’t been booming for Google, and they’ve even begun offering up some free spots.
With Navic now in their possession, Microsoft, has the opportunity to pull ahead if they make some smart movies. Navic’s technology will allow advertisers to target individuals as they move from channel to channel.
Navic will be integrated into Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group. They currently have 82 employees, and have raised $43 million.