MSN Adds Display Inventory to Mobile Portal

Users of MSN Mobile will notice something new starting today –banner ads and text placements — as Microsoft’s content unit looks to monetize its mobile site. MSN has signed on Paramount Pictures and Jaguar as initial advertisers.

In addition to the mobile ads, MSN Mobile has also added new content and services, including the ability to purchase movie tickets, ringtones and wallpapers, as well as an astrology channel.

According to Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president and chief media officer at MSN, the mobile expansion is part of Microsoft’s broader interest in all forms of digital advertising. Its other offerings now include search, in-game ads display and network banner sales, ad management and reporting service, creative and media planning services.

“We are allowing advertisers to extend their existing campaigns from PCs to games and now to mobile phones, further delivering on our vision to extend advertising across multiple platforms and devices,” she said in a statement.

Some also see MSN’s monetization move as a sign the mobile advertising industry coming into its own, according to Bryon Morrison, president of ipsh!, a mobile marketing agency.

“We’ve all been waiting for and talking about how mobile marketing is coming and this is an example of another major company that has figured it out. The point is that when you see a major player continue to support the medium you recognize its day has come,” said Morrison. “They will certainly be on the mobile media buyers short list.”

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