Taboola Takes Over Content Recommendations at MSN in 50+ Markets

What: Content Discovery Platform Taboola has announced a large deal with MSN to integrate Taboola's software into MSN digital properties in more than 50 markets, including the U.S. Hispanic market and all major Latin American markets.
Why it matters: The deal is a major partnership in the fast growing content recommendation and native advertising market. This type of advertising is not threatened by the growing trend of ad-blocking. In addition, as Geek reports, MSN choosing to use Taboola, rather than develop their own unique content recommendation system like Google and Yahoo! did, is a vote of confidence for Taboola.

Global Content Discovery Platform Taboola®, announced a strategic business relationship with Microsoft Corp. to further expand content discovery on MSN worldwide. Taboola-powered sponsored content recommendations and native content ads are already seamlessly integrated into MSN’s desktop and mobile sites across 28 global markets with rollout plans to reach a total of 50 international markets fully localized in 24 different languages.
Content recommendation by Taboola are live or will be rolled out live as a result of the Taboola-MSN partnership in the following Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries/regions.

    • U.S.
    • U.S. Español (Spanish)
    • Spain (Spanish)
    • Brazil (Portuguese)
    • Portugal (Portuguese)
    • Argentina (Spanish)
    • Venezuela (Spanish)
    • Mexico (Spanish)
    • Latin America-pan regional (Spanish)
    • Peru (Spanish)
    • Chile (Spanish)
    • Colombia (Spanish)


According to a November 2015 report by digital measurement intelligence firm comScore Media Metrix, MSN content websites currently welcome over 397 million unique visitors every month around the world.

The core aspects of the cross-platform business relationship focus on audience development, engagement, and monetization for MSN.com by leveraging Taboola’s sophisticated predictive technology, and span all page types and placements including homepage, article, video, and photo gallery.

Taboola founder and CEO, Adam Singolda, tells Portada that "sponsored content recommendations are the more common way Taboola is presented on many publishers, at the bottom of articles, where sponsored recommendations from multiple marketers/publishers/brands are suggested to users. In addition, Taboola-Native enables publishers to create premium "specific" locations, as an example on the homepage, and enable a higher price/performance to be achieved that way. Taboola Native also allows the publishers own sales team to go to market and sell those slots similar to historically it was done with DoubleClick for banner advertising." Both sponsored content recommendations and Native Ads are typically priced on a cost per click basis."

Native Advertising

Example of Native Advertising

AOL recently closed a deal with MSN to sell into MSN properties. For programmatic MSN struck a deal with AppNexus. Asked whether the MSN-Taboola relationship will be integrated into these other ad sales arrangements. Singolda notes that, "Not as of now, AOL/AppNexus are operating the display and Taboola operates the Native but as of now, separately."

“MSN is one of the largest global publishers, aggregators and distributors of premium content online, enabling our media partners worldwide to reach hundreds of millions of consumers every month,” said Joe Cepollina, Universal Store Principal Program Manager Lead of Microsoft. “Through our relationship with Taboola, we have built a new pillar of scalable monetization while giving our audiences a more deeply immersive and personalized content experience.”

Video Recommendations

Content Recommendations and Native Ads powered by Taboola on MSN also include videos: "Absolutely, we surface video recommendations to users visiting MSN to help them discover videos they may like and never knew existed", says Singolda. He adds that "Taboola started as a video company, I started 8 years originally where the first 5 years we were mainly focused on video, so we have a long time experience in driving video growth to publishers in general."

Fast Growing Market...

Adam Singolda, CEO Taboola

Adam Singolda, CEO Taboola

Content recommendations and Native Ads (sponsored posts) is a fast growing subsector of the overall digital advertising market. "When you think of all dollars going into Native as a category from the demand side, Facebook is probably the largest generating about US $16 billion a year from "sponsored posts" in-feed natively. If you think about all native dollars only on the publisher side, it's probably few billions, but growing fast."

Facebook is probably the largest player generating about US $16 billion a year from "sponsored posts" in-feed natively. Only on the publisher side, it's probably few billions, but growing fast.

...Potential in Spanish-Speaking Markets

According to Taboola''s Singolda content recommendations and native ads have a particularly high growth potential in Spanish-speaking markets in the U.S. and Latin America: "I think Latin America has a massive opportunity while it's still relatively young." Singolda thinks Latin America will be huge because of three factors. First, is mobile usage and growth. “There is a big growing mobile population in Latin America where native advertising works the best, providing good experience to consumers as well as publishers and advertisers." Second, is the high usage of the Internet: "many publishers have hundreds of millions, if not billions of page views a month given high usage of consumers online which creates a meaningful opportunity as well on the revenue side."

Eventually native advertising at scale will help marketers to not only drive awareness, but also conversion.

The third factor, Singolda cites as boding very well for the growth of content recommendations and native ads in Latin America are "very developed commerce markets". "I believe eventually native advertising at scale will help marketers to not only drive awareness, but also conversion, and as part of that will absorb bigger and bigger budgets over time -- a la ROI drive storytelling".


Editorial Staff @portada_online

Portada Staff

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