Back in June, Microsoft started an overhaul of its MSN Mobile portal for cell phone users and today announced some new steps in that process:
Mobile display advertising is now available on MSN Mobile for the first time, Microsoft Corp. announced today. Starting today, MSN Mobile customers in the U.S. will begin to see banner and text ad placements that conform to the U.S. mobile advertising guidelines provided by the Mobile Marketing Association to deliver a more consistent and engaging experience for consumers. Paramount Pictures and Jaguar Cars North America are among the first companies to launch an MSN Mobile campaign in the U.S.
Through technology created by Microsoft’s Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group and by the acquisition of ScreenTonic SA, a leader in mobile advertising in Europe, MSN Mobile is now able to provide ad placements that optimize the customer experience and provide advertisers with a new way to reach out to the ever-growing number of mobile consumers.
What would a portal be without “reaching out” to the users with copious advertising? ScreenTonic was acquired last May.
As for the horoscopes:
Microsoft continues to enhance its mobile platform in ways that reach beyond the availability of MSN Mobile display advertising. Building on the success of the FOX Sports channel on MSN Mobile, Microsoft now offers additional content to U.S. customers through the option of purchasing movie tickets, ring tones, wallpaper, games and video clips from mobile phone browsers:
- Movie tickets through MSN Mobile. Through a continued alliance with MovieTickets.com, Microsoft has extended the movie experience to MSN Mobile. U.S. customers not only can view movie reviews, theaters and show times, they can also purchase tickets directly from the phone via MovieTickets.com.
- Ring tones, wallpaper, games and video clips on MSN Mobile. In an exclusive collaboration with Thumbplay Inc., customers in the U.S. will now be able to purchase ring tones, wallpaper, games, video clips and more within the MSN Mobile offering.
- New astrology channel. MSN Mobile also now offers an astrology channel providing daily horoscopes to customers in the U.S. for free.
It’s standard portal business of course, but there’s nothing there that I see to let MSN Mobile break away from the pack.