Microsoft Loses $6.2B USD on Internet Advertising Bet
July 3, 2012 6:54 PM
comment(s) - last by
Bing has a sixth of the market, but is losing loads of cash
It started off simple -- "beat Google". We'll transform Microsoft into an "industry leading, Internet-wide advertising platform" pitched Kevin Johnson.
Today Mr. Johnson is no longer with Microsoft Corp. (
). He's CEO of Juniper Networks, Inc. (
). But his $6.2B USD gamble into display advertising firm aQuantive is back in the headlines after Microsoft took a
$6.2B USD writeoff
on the struggling pet project.
Microsoft spent the $6.2B USD to acquire aQuantive in 2007, a bold bid that greatly expanded its small stable of search-tied online ad-offerings. Since the acquisition, though, the road has been nothing but rocky.
To be fair, Microsoft has grown Bing from an 8.4 percent market share to a 15.4 percent share, according to ComScore. But the problem is that gain has been less of a grab and more of a resource transfer, as it
came at the expense of Yahoo!
), the floundering search veteran who Microsoft
paired with back in 2009
The problem is that Microsoft needs to reach a "tipping point" in order to lure large advertising clients to its service. Analysts have speculated that the magic number is around 25 to 30 percent of the market. But that would likely require Microsoft to scoop double digits of market share away from Google Inc. (
) which has hardly budged from its 60+ percent dominant position.
Bing is still struggling to reach its "tipping point" and achieve profitability.
Search in theory works something like a toll road. You pay a certain amount to route traffic to you -- expenses which range from the
cost of server farms
cost of advertising to build customer awareness
of your brand name. You're repaid when people visit your search homepage and click on ads -- text or graphics -- that are displayed amongst the search results. Those clicks are compensated on a unit basis by advertising clients either directly (as in Microsoft's case) or through third parties.
The idea is to make your advertising dollars outweigh your "traffic acquisition" and hosting costs, generating a net profit. Google is the master of that game. Microsoft, is unfortunately on the wrong end of the equation.
Search is hurting Microsoft financially, burning away the
of its operating system division. Losses
hit $1B USD
per quarter last year, but have slowed to a slower bleed of $2B USD in the last 12 months.
The company glumly surmises, "While the aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsoft's online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated."
Search is an expensive hobby, but Microsoft plans to stick with it for now, in hopes of reaching that ever elusive profit cloud. But one has to wonder how profitable Microsoft might be, if it just swallowed its pride and dumped the search baggage.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: I'm afraid MS won't be in the game long if it were to dump Bing
7/6/2012 1:44:43 AM
This is new terrain for Microsoft
Oh yeah, like MS was never fighting against heavy hitters, like MS never rose from a tiny company into a current global megacompany fighting off stiff competition every year. You are sounding so dumb at times Tony, your Mac zealotry pushes you way too far. You sound like MS was given Windows XP from the start, right in 1975 and of course MS was always a monopoly, even in 1975 eh? Microsoft was never competing and they were always a monopoly right? So it's like Netscape was killing itself and handing IE monopoly status just because Gates asked them politely right? Oh Tony, your zealotry and blindness to facts makes me so happy sometimes, I know that since you are a zealot then we should not take your or asymco's words as a final truth. You have your agenda, asymco has an agenda, and your words about MS being always a monopoly and unable to compete double prove all this.
Hence I'm not worried about MS at all, because I know the history and I was there when MS was tiny, young and growing fast. I don't believe MS lost their early mojo, their own bold experiments with their own hardware and their willingness to screw their OEMs quick _double_ prove that.
I just visited an MS retail store, looked at their selection of laptops and other stuff, played with some of them in the store, checked out cool new Samsung 15" Ultrabook, something Apple will never be able to release for such a great price. Man, MS is onto something, they expand their retail stores pretty quick these days, and you Mac zealots cast a blind eye to that. You know what? I love the fact that asymco has NO idea this is happening. I will enjoy the sight of him caught pants down, heheee. You just wait.
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
Quick Note: Bing Adds 165 TB of New Satellite Imagery to Bing Maps
June 26, 2012, 5:41 PM
Microsoft Fought to Place Bing Search Engine in AMC's Walking Dead
October 12, 2011, 4:49 AM
Bing Loses Nearly $1B per Quarter for Microsoft
September 22, 2011, 12:59 PM
Microsoft: a Year of Record Earnings And All it Gets is 6% Stock Bump
July 20, 2011, 5:36 PM
Bing Kicks Yahoo Out of Second Place in Search Market
September 15, 2010, 9:31 AM
Hulu to Hit $1 Billion in Revenue by End of Year
December 18, 2013, 1:35 PM
Harvard Undergrad Busted by Wi-Fi after Making Bomb Threat to Avoid Finals
December 18, 2013, 10:37 AM
San Francisco's Market Street Receives Free Outdoor Wi-Fi
December 17, 2013, 11:14 AM
Facebook Announces Auto-Play Video Advertising in Your News Feed
December 17, 2013, 10:00 AM
NSA Debates Granting Snowden Amnesty if He Keeps His Mouth Shut
December 16, 2013, 1:17 PM
Amazon's New "Pantry" Service to Compete with Costco, Sam's Club
December 13, 2013, 11:26 AM
Most Popular Articles
China's Lunar Rover Enters Orbit, Prepares for Historic Sat. Landing
December 13, 2013, 5:00 PM
Metro-Enabled Firefox Browser Expected to Land After Two Years of Work
December 12, 2013, 5:21 PM
The History of Normandy: How Nokia Plotted a Low-End Android Line
December 11, 2013, 8:12 PM
Ten Senators Sponsor Bill to Scrap Corn Ethanol Market Manipulation
December 13, 2013, 1:52 PM
China's Moon Rover Lands Safe and Sound, Starts Snapping Pics
December 16, 2013, 1:22 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information