In another big win for Microsoft's ad network ambitions, the company will provide all contextual and paid search advertising on sites published by the The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.
The network addition supports Microsoft's ongoing courtship of advertisers and publishers in the money and finance vertical. Earlier this month it signed a similar deal with EDGAR Online, which dropped Google AdSense. Under that agreement, EDGAR also agreed to provide SEC filing documents and other content to MSN Money. Along the same lines, Microsoft is providing ads for CNBC.com, MSN Money and other money-oriented sites in Microsoft's advertising syndication network.
"We are very focused on the financial services sector," said Jon Tinter, Microsoft's general manager for strategy and business development. "We think it continues to speak to the momentum Microsoft has in the marketplace in signing up premium Web publishers for our ad platform."
The WSJ Digital agreement will be implemented on February 1, replacing an existing contextual and search ads relationship the network has in place with Pulse 360, the companies said. Covered sites include The Wall Street Journal Online, Barrons.com, MarketWatch.com and AllThingsD.com, which taken together will bring an additional 20 million unique visitors per month to Microsoft's ad network.
"We can package together inventory across that entire network," said Tinter. "It's a more compelling solution. One of the key pieces of feedback we get when we talk to financial services advertisers is... they are looking for more inventory, a broader number of places to advertise on."
Tinter noted Microsoft is also aggressively pursuing the entertainment and social media verticals, as evidenced by the Viacom, Digg and Facebook relationships, but he added "financial services is a place where Microsoft traditionally has had a very strong relationship with advertisers."
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