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The traditional notion of “prime time” is fading. TV viewing is no longer time or device constrained as consumers now control what content they view throughout the day and into the night, from screens large and small. They want to view video content when and where it fits best in their lifestyle. According to our recent Cross-Screen Engagement Study, 82 percent of consumers studied like being able to combine different devices to enable efficiency.
At Microsoft, we listen to consumers and put them first in everything we do, including our approach to video advertising. Today, as a founding member of the Digital Content NewFronts organized by the IAB, we hosted our Digital Showcase in NYC. We showed how we’re committed to moving the industry forward through our unified video experience across an ecosystem of products – from the PC, to the TV, to the tablet, to the phone – across Xbox, MSN, the Microsoft Advertising Video Network, and on Windows 8. Our devices and services offer advertisers a more engaging, immersive and innovative experience than ever before. Here’s what was highlighted at the event:
Xbox and OneBeat Debut New Experiences: Xbox and OneBeat are teaming up to bring an exclusive, first-of-its-kind entertainment experience that is designed to pull back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar Electronic Dance Music (EDM) phenomenon – the fastest growing category of music according to Nielsen. OneBeat is one of the world’s only EDM-centric entertainment studios with deep industry partnerships. We’re excited to be working with them to bring a curated EDM app experience to Xbox next month that will be a one-stop shop and portal for both EDM artists and fans. The OneBeat app on Xbox will provide original content and immersive storytelling experiences that will introduce new opportunities for our brand partners to engage with EDM fans and culture.
“The LeBrons” Season Two: We’re pleased to share that LeBron James’ breakout animated series, “The LeBrons” is back for season two and will be available on May 10th exclusively across Microsoft consumer platforms, including Xbox LIVE and the MSN Video Hub. We’ll also be doing some heavy cross-promotion on both Xbox and the Bing Sports app on Windows 8. “The LeBrons” is a family entertainment show designed to provide positive life messages to today’s young adults and is co-executive produced by LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Believe Entertainment Group Co-Founders Dan Goodman and William H. Masterson III. The hit show received more than 50 million episode views across the web during its inaugural season in 2011 and all Xbox LIVE subscribers in the US can now watch the second season right from their Xbox 360. Plans are underway to build out the series even further for the biggest screen in the home on Xbox, with all new content that capitalizes on second screen experiences through Xbox SmartGlass, as well as other Microsoft consumer platforms.
Years of Living Dangerously: This new Showtime TV series will be a powerful, informative and entertaining program focused on climate change. Microsoft Advertising will be the exclusive digital partner for the series and will extend the stories online through a multi-screen experience with complementary content across MSN, Xbox and Windows 8. We are offering an exclusive sponsorship opportunity for the associated interactive web experience coming in 2014. The series is an ambitious multi-media project that includes exclusive video segments, celebrity interviews, and behind-the-scenes content, in addition to a robust social engagement platform designed to drive action and engagement on the issue of climate change. The broadcast series Years of Living Dangerously is being produced by former 60 Minutes producers Joel Bach and David Gelber (winners of a combined 11 Emmys), James Cameron (producer and director of Avatar and Titanic), Jerry Weintraub (the former head of United Artists’ studios and the producer of the Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen franchise) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (former California Governor and box office star). Additionally, a number of celebrities will appear throughout the series including Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Uma Thurman, Olivia Munn, and others.
MSN Codename “StageDoor”: Today we debuted an exclusive entertainment video destination on MSN, codenamed “StageDoor,” that is an entirely different approach to surfacing engaging video content online. “StageDoor” aggregates trusted, brand-safe video content from across different topics and subject matters to reflect the interests of the actual person that is watching, not just genres or keywords. The content is organized into nine distinct channels that are programmed for the audience, making it more like a television experience than what any other major portal online provides. For example, the Spark channel is focused on clothes, love, health and more. With “StageDoor,” advertisers can involve their brand directly in the story and connect more deeply with their target consumer. Every channel provides sponsorship opportunities that can range from custom product placements to segment branding. One of the first to sign on to StageDoor is Chrysler Group LLC’s Jeep® brand. “MSN’s StageDoor provides a wide range of topics and subject matter,” says Vicki Carlini, Jeep Brand Lead - Media, Social Media and CRM, Chrysler Group LLC. “Sponsoring the Tuned In channel is enabling us to broadcast our new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee original video series, “Reach the Summit,” and engage more deeply with our most desired target consumers.”
We’re excited about continuing to create video content and experiences that consumers want, on the platforms they love, while also providing brands the opportunity to connect deeper with their target audiences.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.
Scott Ferris, General Manager of TV & Video Advertising Business Group
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