MSN/Atlas Combo Brings Local Video Ads to AP Affiliates

Through a deal with Microsoft, the Associated Press (AP) Online Video Network news distribution system now allows affiliate sites to place local ads into their online video feeds. The capability comes through a combination of Microsoft’s MSN Video and its Atlas AdManager delivery and reporting product, the first time Microsoft has integrated technology from recently acquired aQuantive.

Using a white label version of MSN Video Player supported by AdManager, AP Online Video Network’s various affiliates can dynamically insert ads into online videos, whereas the ads were previously encoded into the video feeds, according to Scott Ferris, senior vice president and general manager of emerging media at Atlas.

AP’s video network distributes content created specifically for the Web to approximately 1,800 affiliates in the U.S. It claims 61 million unique visitors. Although local markets will be able to run their own ads, national video ad inventory will still be served by Microsoft adCenter and sold by Microsoft’s sales force.

Microsoft is touting the AP deal as the first fruit of its acquisition of aQuantive and the subsequently launched Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group. Microsoft said 20 publishers have switched from other ad serving providers or solutions to the Atlas Publisher Suite in the wake of the aQuantive deal, including SmartBrief, Reunion.com and Entrepreneur.com.

“When a publisher is looking for a technology to manage their entire revenue stream, they look at more than just the features of the technology,” said Scott Ferris, senior vice president and general manager of emerging media at Atlas, a Microsoft subsidiary. “Backed with Microsoft as the largest software company, it’s a powerful combination to future protect a publishers main point of business.

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