Microsoft is testing a new replacement for the traditional banner ads in the Hotmail service. The display ads will be replaced by local deals which the user may be interested in. In an interview with Marketing Land, Dharmesh Mehta, Director for the Windows and Windows Live Business Group is confident that users will feel less distracting and less creepy. Its testing tested in few cities and may be expanded to all in the future.
From Marketing land on deal content,
The new deals ads will be initially targeted by country, language, age and gender. However Microsoft might allow users to select categories of interest later on.
I asked Mehta about the deal sources Microsoft is using. He said that some were sourced by Microsoft directly and some are aggregated from partners. The business models and the way Microsoft gets paid also probably vary accordingly. The company said it will be testing out different models and approaches.
Source: Marketing land
Thanks to Niranjan for the heads up.