MSN Ad Revenue Soars

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Microsoft's MSN unit saw ad revenue rise 47 percent last quarter, the company said last week, thanks to more traditional advertisers running campaigns and the strength of paid search. Overall MSN revenue climbed 19 percent to $546 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31.


Microsoft did not break out MSN's profit or loss, though the previous quarter MSN netted $58 million, its first profit in its eight-year existence. Microsoft's previous quarterly filing showed that advertising growth compensated for a decline in revenue from subscriptions to MSN.


The strong advertising growth mirrors that seen at competitor Yahoo, which last week said its fourth-quarter marketing services revenue, which includes search and banner advertising, grew 178 percent from the same period a year earlier.


Microsoft and Yahoo are key partners for search advertising, which has boomed in the past year. MSN uses Yahoo's Inktomi for algorithmic search and Overture Services for paid listings. MSN recently extended its partnership deal with Overture for six months, until June 2005.


Brian Morrissey covers search marketing for DM News.com. To keep up with the latest search marketing news subscribe to our free e-mail weekly newsletter Search Engine Marketing by visiting www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/newslettersub.cgi .


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