Microsoft wants to increase its presence in the online ad world and reap a bigger share of the revenue associated with it. Microsoft chief executive Steven A. Ballmer told a Washington, DC area gathering yesterday:
“Online advertising is of keen interest to us,” Ballmer said. “If you ask particularly for our consumer-facing businesses, what will be the most rapidly growing revenue stream at Microsoft, it’s absolutely going to be advertising. So we’re very focused on what it means to do a better job in display advertising, what it means to do a better job in paid listings and sponsored search advertising.”
Part of Microsoft’s strategy to play a larger role in search has been to partner with AOL, a deal that is still under negotiation. AOL’s network of websites currently features Google’s search service. With 20 million AOL subscribers, this is a substantial part of Google’s user base so if AOL drops them for Microsoft it would really shake things up in the search world.
How is Microsoft going to convince AOL to leave Google? According to the Washington Post,
Microsoft is offering to guarantee AOL substantial annual payments of hundreds of millions of dollars if the Dulles-based Internet service adopts MSN Search and drops Google from its service next year, according to people who demanded anonymity because of the confidential nature of negotiations.
A Google spokeswoman says that “AOL is a valued partner, and we intend to continue working with them.”
Read the full article on Microsoft’s desire for more online ad revenue at washingtonpost.com.