Details on MSN's adCenter Paid Search Ads

Yesterday, Threadwatch member cornwall reported on the upcoming paid search program from MSN Search called adCenter.

Since then, we've started seeing reports all over the web and i'd like to start putting some of those links together in one place.

First up is Danny Sullivan with a SearchDay article on MSN adCenter where reporting the small amount of facts know to us, he also mentions the impact on Yahoo and Google:

Advertisers are not going to flock to MSN and abandon the other two, because the only way on the sizeable networks the other two operate is to stay with them. They have non-duplicated pages views.

Instead, MSN is going to be the new third program most everyone will likely feel it's essential to enroll in. That was certainly the case when I asked a room of about 400 people at SES New York earlier this month what they'd do if MSN launched its own program, as was rumored during the show to be coming. Virtually everyone said they'd sign up. And virtually everyone said they'd stay with the other two, as well.

Charlene Li also posted thoughts on adCenter and screenshots you see here. Having managed to get a preview of the new program she said...

A key component of the service is the ability to look at audience profiles for specific keywords. In the first screenshot, you can see gender, age group, and lifestyle segment for the keyword “bmw”. This allows an advertiser to target their ad more finely to that audience. It does NOT mean that advertisers will be able to target their ads only to men between the ages of 26-40 – that type of functionality is still far, far in the distance.

Reporting is also pretty robust. In the second screenshot, you can see the audience profile for people who clicked on all of the keywords in a specific campaign.

You can find MSN's adCenter homepage here

Danny is clearly right about the effect on Google and Yahoo not being drastic, and i'd imagine that for certain types of products adCenter is going to be more than viable. While we're waiting for more news and information, tell us what you think the implications are and please add any links to more news in the comments, thanks...


Demographic search

The fact that they are going to have demographics like age and gender is phenomenal.... catering to the agencies but also using all aggregated info they have is smart.

I for one

Can't wait :O)

Hope they have a great API and adsense beater too..

Roll Out Date

I was told by my MSN Ad Rep - for Featured Listings - who call me from Seattle - that they were looking for a Q4 launch. Given it is being beta tested now in France and Singapore... let's make that start Q4 or even Q3.
Remember MSN is not known for waiting... they run it out and get the clients to help find the bugs!!!

This is good for advertising agencies

They key point is that there are now 3 non-duplicated networks. So it will require that you participate and monitor all 3 programs. This is where the advertising agencies will come to rescue for a small % of your ad budget.


Seems funny to me a marketeer worried about divulging personal info when we use so much of it to do our jobs :O)

Keep me posted

I clicked the "Keep me posted" button and I noticed right away the difference with the up coming Yahoo Publisher Network. Microsoft wants me to fill in a whole survey before they even consider keeping me posted about their new ad product. Yahoo, I admit, gave a strange pop-up after filling in my e-mail address , but after that it took me only 3 mandatory fields to finish the form. I guess I will read Threadwatch to keep me posted.

Gary Stein

Is at the MSN Ad Summit and says:

here's my take: This is a big deal.

Microsoft did not enter this space with a 'me-too' product. That would have been so counter-evolutionary. All that would do would be to just channel money in some different directions. Instead, Microsoft took a big leap forward by exposing a significant amount of data about searchers to advertisers. Will all advertisers use all of this data? Maybe not...but it is there and suddenly search can be thought of in some pretty distinct ways.


More AdCenter...

There was no word on when the service will make its U.S. debut. "Up until now, search has been all about the click," says Eric Hadley, director of marketing for MSN. "It's not about the click, it's about making the connection to the customer. If the advertiser knows about who's clicking on what word when, they can make a smarter buy."

Hadley says MSN adCenter will enable advertisers to customize their buys based on audience demographics such as gender, age, and interests.

just one small problem with that lot

#Household Income
62.4% are $50K+
38.2% are $75K+

= > 100%

plus I don't believe the msn demographic is exclusively in that income range.

The rest of it looks pretty much good though :)

MSN Network Demographics

MSN Network Demographics
All channels are combined

47.0% are men
53.0% are women

30.3% are 18-34
69.4% are 25-54
20.3% are 55+

#Household Income
62.4% are $50K+
38.2% are $75K+

#Education and Occupation
52.5% have graduated college or higher
29.6% are professional/managerial

#Marital Status
66.0% are married
42.8% have children

#Online Usage
90.6% have been on the Web longer that 3 years

#Online Shopping
92.8% have shopped online in the past 6 months
82.0% have purchased online in the past 6 months

Looks like lost of married women with money to spend:)

ROI / Conversions, etc..

As far as conversions go, I did hear from a few people that spoke at SES in NYC a few weeks back, that for organic listings, they found MSN was better at converting than both Yahoo! & Google. I also heard the demographic for MSN is very different than both Yahoo! and Google. Most MSN users are women.

Got it

THanks layover, updated the post...


Google Killer

I think this *will* hurt Google - Adwords/Adsense is their only revenue source and the thing giving them their high share price, anything that takes the shine off this one income stream could give them a whole load of hurt!

Mainstream Media

The mainstream media is reporting the MSN PPC program as if it were the "Google killer".

My own PPC campaigns and that of my customers is based on ROI - this will not affect my Google or Overture spend at all. If I can make a conversions for every $x I spend, and I have sufficient capacity / product to serve additional X customers I will simply expand my budget to include a campaign with MSN as well.