Worth a Look: Microsoft Scales Back TV Ad Ambitions

Microsoft have started to scale back their (non-connected) TV advertising ambitions in hte US, say Adweek. The Microsoft Advertising TV Network has been a division focused on selling TV ads using set-top box data for smaller cable networks owned by NBC Universal and Viacom.

The division was formed following the company’s acquisition of Navic Networks in 2008 for over $200 million in an effort to break into the US’s $70 billion TV market. Adweek say some staffers have already received severance packages, and Microsoft plans to eliminate 15 percent to 30 percent of its sales force in June.

“This is about skating to where the puck is,” said Scott Ferris, GM of Emerging Media and Video. “This is a tough decision, obviously. But there’s been a tremendous change in the ecosystem since we made the purchase. We’ve listened very intently to our customers. The question we’ve had to ask is, ‘Do we sacrifice on building for the future to try to rectify the past?’

In other words, the TV buying model of the past doesn’t need or want as much fixing as the nascent Web video market. “Navic’s challenge is that TV buyers just aren’t looking to buy narrow audiences like digital buyers do,” said Michael Bologna, director of emerging communications for GroupM. “They’re definitely not looking to blow up the upfront or shift to an auction model any time soon.”full article here.

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