Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Microsoft Coalition of Publishers to Consult on Ad-Management Tool

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Microsoft Coalition of Publishers to Consult on Ad-Management Tool

Article excerpt

Microsoft has formed a coalition of prominent online publishers to consult on the development of PubCenter, its still-in-beta ad management tool.

The new Publisher Leadership Council includes Viacom, The New York Times Co., Dow Jones Online, Time Inc. and IAC. According to officials, the group's members -- most of whom typically compete with Microsoft for online ad dollars -- will be provided with an opportunity to help shape the functionality and design of the PubCenter platform.

PubCenter ultimately promises to streamline the laborious process of selling online advertising by simplifying inventory management, forecasting, pricing and reporting. "It's for anything a publisher has to worry about beyond creating content and sales," said Scott Howe, corporate vp of Microsoft's advertiser and publisher solutions group. "What we're really focused on is the nuts and bolts of a publisher's daily grind."

According to Howe, most Web sites employ multiple vendors to assist with these various processes -- ranging from companies like Salesforce.com to Adify to Microsoft's own Rapt -- which hinders their ability to sell ads in a timely fashion and often leads to executional errors. …

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