Microsoft Becomes Exclusive Ad Provider for The Wall Street Journal

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has struck another blow in its advertising war with rivals Yahoo and Google. On Tuesday, the Redmond-based company announced it was becoming the exclusive third-party provider of contextual and paid search advertising for The Wall Street Journal's network of sites. (Source:

The Wall Street Journal Online,,, and others will now become part of Microsoft's ever-expanding network; the agreement is expected to bring 20 million unique visitors per month in traffic to the ad platform. "The Wall Street Journal Digital Network is one of the largest financial services publishers in a very dynamic vertical segment, and we're delighted to add it to our portfolio," said Brian McAndrews, Microsoft's senior vice president, Advertiser and Publisher Solutions.

Microsoft replaces Pulse 360, a third-party provider that works with NASCAR and The Weather Channel among others. The deal will last for an initial 2 years, and begins on February 1. This latest agreement follows several high profile partnerships and acquisitions as Microsoft attempts to overcome Google's dominant share of the online advertising marketplace. In addition to the Wall Street Journal deal, the software company recently won an exclusive deal with CNBC, and a contract worth an estimated $500 million to share advertising and content with Viacom. (Source:

Despite the fact that the Wall Street Journal is now a part of News Corp., Microsoft will still have to duke it out for other parts of Rupert Murdoch's vast media empire. Fox Interactive Media, which includes MySpace, Photobucket, partnered with Google in 2006 for a deal worth $900 million.

In December analyst firm ComScore placed Google in a rather dominant position, controlling 58.4% of U.S. search traffic. Yahoo owns 22.9%, while Microsoft trails way behind with a mere 9.8%. The new deals are guaranteed to increase Microsoft's prospects, but as Google's acquisition of DoubleClick moves into the final stages of government approval, the gap between the three companies is about to get much wider.

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