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Microsoft opens up all mobile app inventory to global ad exchange

Microsoft has opened up all its mobile app inventory to its global ad exchange, letting advertisers bid for mobile advertising in real time via a single marketplace.

Advertisers will be able to buy Windows mobile app inventory programmatically for the first time via the Microsoft Ad Exchange (MAX), with mobile browser inventory to be made available from October.

The move forms the latest part in Microsoft’s ongoing programmatic strategy, the latest iteration of which saw it launch a programmatic video ad network.

Director of Microsoft Advertising Exchange EMEA, Simon Halstead, told The Drum the move marks a “great step forward” for the company‘s programmatic offering and further demonstrates its “strong commitment” to this kind of ad trading.

“This is pretty significant. It’s the first time we have released or spoken about our mobile inventory being available on our programmatic platform, and we have partnered with AppNexus,” he said.

Advertisers will be able to buy all Windows 8 Ads-in-Apps and Windows Phone inventory across 10 markets including the UK. One of the things it is releasing is the ability to target an ID for the apps and a device ID, to help refine mobile targeting and tie together their cross-device journeys.

In future advertisers can also buy programmatically from third-party apps built into the Microsoft proposition, the details of which are yet to be revealed.

Mobile inventory can now be bought programmatically in the UK, US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

Meanwhile Microsoft this week snapped up gaming company Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5bn - an acquisition which could potentially see even more premium mobile inventory brought into its ad exchange.

Halstead said although it was too early to comment on the potential of the deal for MAX, with the ink “only just dried” – he added that it was a “fantastic” deal that all employees are excited about the potential future opportunities.

Microsoft has also overhauled MSN complete with viewability-based ad trading capabilities, meaning advertisers need only pay for impressions that Microsoft has guaranteed have been seen by readers.

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