Microsoft sees future of ads beyond search

Although search is important, Redmond sees growing opportunities in other areas, such as video, in-game, and mobile advertising, says former Aquantive CEO.

Microsoft is hoping to get advertisers to think beyond search.

In an e-mail sent to reporters and analysts on Thursday, Microsoft's Brian McAndrews said the company is working on a new technology that will better measure the indirect role that online ads play in leading to a sale, a field known as "conversion attribution." McAndrews, who was chief executive of Aquantive when Microsoft bought it for $6 billion last year, said Microsoft has a new product that will enable advertising that is better at "giving credit where credit is due."

McAndrews, who heads Microsoft's advertising tools business, also predicted "significant growth" for online video advertising and said in-game advertising will "also begin to make meaningful in-roads," saying that there are now seven-figure deals in that space as well as better metrics to make them pay off.

"That said, we're not discounting the importance of search as it continues to drive a lion's share of digital advertising budgets," McAndrews said.

McAndrews has been sending out annual e-mails to reporters for several years, though this is his first since joining Microsoft.

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