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October 23, 2013

New advertising platform SDKs improve monetization for Windows 8.1 Store developers

With the Windows 8.1 release Microsoft is providing some great advances for app builders – a differentiated and improved platform, functionality that makes it easier to build apps and new monetization opportunities.

Today, we want to talk about new Windows platform advertising capabilities that we believe will deliver better app monetization.

Specifically, in Windows 8.1 we include a unique identifier that can be used to improve the quality and relevance of advertisements displayed within Windows Store apps while providing other services such as analytics and app-discovery. The advertising ID was also created with privacy in mind and consumers can control when it is on or off.

We’re excited to announce the availability of software development kits (SDKs) that leverage the advertising ID from:

  • Microsoft Advertising, with an updated version of Ad SDK (version # 8.1.30909) available in Visual Studio 2013 GA.
  • MediaBrix, for their Breakthrough Moments™ (BTMs) cross-platform technology, which reaches game players at natural, critical points in gameplay where people are most receptive to brand messages.
  • LeadBolt for their mobile app discovery, advertising, and monetization platform, using AppFireworks for actionable analytics and a cross promotion platform.

We expect other advertising platforms to provide solutions in the near future as well.

These SDKs will better enable developers and advertisers to take advantage of the advertising ID feature to improve ad relevance. Over time, experience has shown that displaying ads in apps that relate to the customer’s true interests contributes to higher satisfaction for customers, higher revenues for developers and advertisers, and ultimately the success of the entire ecosystem. With the advertising ID and SDKs, app builders and advertising partners will realize the following benefits:

  • Publishers will have a better understanding of which of their apps a customer installs.
  • Advertising partners can serve more relevant and profitable ads to a customer without accessing any Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
  • Advertising partners can put limits on how many times it serves an ad to the same customer, known as frequency capping.
  • Publishers can track promotions and app incentives to a user to prevent fraud.

Additionally, more flexible onboarding policies allow third party ads for Windows Store apps, enabling SDKs to choose and serve the best paying ads from a broad range of ad networks. This will help to improve the ad fill rate by giving app builders a larger inventory of ads to display. This applies to Windows Store apps running on Windows 8 or updated to Windows 8.1.

Together, these enhancements will not only improve the monetization opportunity for app builders on the Windows platform by providing more options, but it will also benefit customers with more personally relevant ads.

We know customers want to better control their online privacy and enjoy a broad range of apps on their Windows devices. To help achieve these goals, we provide customers the appropriate controls they need to make privacy choices. Customers can easily turn the advertising ID off and on during their Windows 8.1 device setup or anytime afterwards.  For more information, visit the Windows 8.1 privacy statement.

We’ll have additional detail and technical documentation in the coming weeks, but we encourage developers to get started today by downloading the new Windows 8.1 SDKs to unlock new revenue opportunities with more relevant advertising experiences.