MSN Spaces and Messenger Open Up to Advertisers
MSN today took MSN Spaces out of beta and introduced the new MSN Messenger 7, and it didn’t take them long to include a sales pitch for advertising across these channels. MSN announced it is offering integrated advertising opportunities across the latest version of MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces (the MSN Blog service). In addition to the new advertising opportunities in MSN Messenger, MSN announced the first U.S. advertising partner for MSN Spaces: Volvo Cars of North America LLC. MSN Spaces is booming with over 4.5 million blogs. The figure was announced as part of the official launch of MSN Spaces after 4 months of public beta testing.
The Blog Herald Reports that 4.5 million blogs places Microsoft in second or third place in the English speaking blog market, behind SixApart with around 6.5 million blogs (Jan 05) and Google’s Blogger, who does not release figures of how many blogs it has, but is estimated to have around 3-5 million blogs. There was little extra announced for the service as part of the official launch, with the exception that 50 additional templates and increased storage were now available for users.
“Deeper brand integration into MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces will enable our advertisers to connect with their target audiences in more creative, spontaneous and unobtrusive ways,” said Joanne Bradford, vice president and chief media revenue officer for MSN. “Integrating great advertising opportunities is core to our product development process, and as consumers connect through these new branded entertainment experiences in the MSN environment, the results for advertisers are higher brand awareness and favorability.”
Advertising options for MSN Messenger 7.0 include:
* MSN Video Conversation. More than 30 million unique users each month use MSN’s basic webcam feature. With MSN Messenger 7.0, MSN will introduce MSN Video Conversation, which includes full-screen synchronized audio and video capabilities. Advertisers will have the opportunity to host a brief commercial-like experience before each MSN Video Conversation session, reaching a highly engaged audience.
* Conversation window text ads. New advertising space in MSN Messenger 7.0 includes a text ad at the bottom of the MSN Messenger screen that sends consumers directly to the marketer’s ad or Web site with one click.
* MSN Tabs. Another new way for advertisers to prominently integrate their brands on MSN Messenger is by sponsoring MSN Tabs, which allow consumers to click directly through to information and services elsewhere on the MSN network from within the Messenger window and closely engage with advertisers’ brands.
* MSN Today. MSN is offering even richer video and advertising opportunities on the new version of MSN Today. MSN Today offers rich-media sponsorship opportunities, and advertisers in the U.S. can leverage the video advertising opportunities to captivate the attention of the global MSN Messenger community.
* Half banner. MSN will continue to offer advertisers a half banner space in the MSN Messenger client. The format of the ad remains the same; however, a refresh of the main window will make it more useful and compelling.