The New MSN Provides Breakthrough Offerings for Advertisers

REDMOND, Wash. —
, Jan. 8, 2004 — Consumers hooked on the high-speed Internet aren’t the only ones who received a belated holiday gift with today’s launch of the new version of MSN® Internet services. The new portfolio of free and premium Web services from MSN extends the power of broadband to advertisers and provides additional opportunities for marketers to more effectively reach the massive MSN online audience.

Fueled by feedback from consumers, marketers, and ad agency executives, MSN now offers advertisers new high-impact advertising options, including TV-like ads, via a new, free, streaming-video service, MSN Video; new MSN home page ad products such as expandable ad space that provide advertisers with improved flexibility and greater potential for creativity; and Universal Ad Package (UAP) standardized ads to make it more efficient for advertisers to plan, create and purchase ad space.

“MSN has taken online advertising to the next level by offering a rich array of innovative options for advertisers,”
said Joanne Bradford, vice president and chief media revenue officer of MSN.
“The 50 percent revenue growth we’ve experienced in our advertising business over the past year demonstrates how important online advertising has become and specifically how MSN has solidified itself as a top media property across all media.”

MSN Video Offers TV-Like Advertising

Today’s official launch of MSN Video on MSN arms advertisers with a new way to grab the attention of consumers online via the popular medium of streaming video. Already a wide variety of leading companies have embraced this advertising medium by purchasing 15-second video spots on a scheduled rotation a model similar to that of television advertising.

The spots are integrated with MSN Video’s high-resolution news, sports, entertainment and other programming. Contextual ads are displayed on the MSN Video on-screen player to help tie the emotional impact of television with the instant interactivity of online. For example, following each video advertisement, the advertiser’s contextual ad remains on the MSN Video on-screen player until the next ad runs, enabling the advertiser’s message to stay top-of-mind without intruding on or detracting from the consumer’s experience.

“We are excited to have the Internet offer a nontraditional advertising vehicle with the emotional impact of television, and MSN has succeeded in doing this with MSN Video,”
said Kiki Rees, vice president of Media/Internet for Revlon.
“MSN Video strategically utilizes our existing television creative and provides Revlon with a medium that is relevant not only to our core consumer but to a broader audience, giving us a wider reach than ever before.”

Deutsch Inc., Revlon’s agency of record, led the negotiations with MSN.

MSN Home Page Redesign Provides Cleaner, Richer Environment

The new MSN home page has been redesigned and optimized for broadband to provide consumers and advertisers alike with a dynamic and more streamlined, cleaner environment. Along with its updated look and feel, MSN features a variety of ad products, including a wider range of ad products to suit different budgets and campaign goals; a richer experience by providing more creative space, larger file weights, over-the-page formats and support for multiple flash style files; and easy application of standardized UAP sizes.

More Flexibility, Support for Standardized Ad Units

Last fall, in collaboration with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), MSN recognized the need to institute standard ad sizes to increase efficiencies across the online advertising industry; the result was the creation of the UAP. The standardized ad formats allow advertisers to leverage inventory across multiple Web sites, simplifying all aspects of online advertising and making it more cost-efficient to create, purchase and plan ad inventory.

MSN has undergone a redesign to launch all the UAP sizes across its entire network. A standard UAP ad is available on the top half of the page, or
“above the fold,”
on nearly every page. The predominant ad unit is now two and one-half times bigger than before to give advertisers a larger share of voice. By using one or more of the four standard UAP ad sizes, which support rich media solutions, advertisers can reach up to 50 percent* of the MSN audience.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 38 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and ad sales to businesses worldwide. MSN 8 is the first Internet software product to have earned the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software any time, any place and on any device.

*Microsoft internal data

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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