Update : Deal is the first between a major search company and wireless carrier.
In a first of its kind deal between a major search provider and a large wireless carrier, Sprint has tapped Microsoft to provide search and pay-per-call ads to its subscribers.
The deal will make Microsoft's fledgling Windows Live Search for mobile product available to Sprint wireless users. Along with Sprint ring tones, games, screen savers and other services, Sprint users will be able to use the Windows Live Search technology to perform local area searches, according to the companies. Ingenio is providing the pay-per-call infrastructure.
“This is really the first major deal where a brand name Internet search provider and a carrier are getting in bed in a major way,” Mark Donovan, VP and senior analyst with M:Metrics, a mobile metrics research firm. “Sprint has been beaten up in the public markets recently because of their performance, but they’ve been doing very well in being a leader in data services, in getting their subscribers to do more than just talk on the phone."
Meanwhile, Microsoft is trying to show off its strength in search and compete with Yahoo and Google in the mobile space, where both competitors have recently unveiled advertising initiatives. The Sprint arrangement is Microsoft's first partner collaboration on mobile sponsored links, though the company previously offered mobile ads via its direct channel at mobile.live.com, according to a spokesperson. It has also done display advertising pilots in the US and Japan.
Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!
Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.
Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?
March 19, 2014