Microsoft to serve up ads to Wall Street Journal online

Under the deal, company will be the exclusive third-party ad provider for Dow Jones-owned sites including WSJ.com and Marketwatch.com.

Microsoft landed another ad-serving deal on Tuesday, announcing it will be the exclusive third-party provider of contextual and paid search ads for the Wall Street Journal online and several other Dow Jones-owned sites.

The move is the latest in a string of deals, following Microsoft's expanded ad-serving deal with Facebook in October. In December, Microsoft announced a deal with Viacom that it valued at $500 million, though it didn't provide specific details on how it came to that figure. Last month, Microsoft signed a deal with another financial information company, Edgar Online.

In addition to WSJ.com, the latest deal also covers Marketwatch.com, Barrons.com, and AllThingsD.com. Contextual ads from Microsoft should start appearing on Dow Jones sites next month.

Unlike the Viacom and Edgar Online deals, which use the Atlas technology acquired as part of Microsoft's $6 billion Aquantive purchase, the Dow Jones deal is using Microsoft's homegrown AdCenter product. Microsoft is replacing two smaller firms that Dow Jones had been using--Pulse360, for contextual ads, and Business.com, for paid search.

Gordon McLeod, president of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, said in a statement that the deal should boost the company's ad revenue. "Microsoft's state-of-the-art advertising platform will enable us to dramatically improve our revenues from this key sector, and we look forward to working together."

Meanwhile, Microsoft said the move will bring a further 20 million unique visitors to Microsoft's ad network.

"This deal is a significant win for Microsoft for two key reasons," Microsoft senior VP Brian McAndrews said in a statement. "First, it makes the extended Microsoft advertising network the premier destination for advertisers interested in reaching financially minded users, as it complements our offering in this vertical through MSN Money and other syndication partners. Second, this deal is a strong indicator that we're gaining significant traction with our advertising platform."

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