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28 February 2024

Microsoft plans to acquire Rapt Inc to increase ad revenue

By Vigyan Arya




Microsoft has said it will purchase Rapt Inc, the leading provider of advertising yield management solutions for digital media publishers.

The Redmond-based company is continuing acquisition of web and media companies following its purchase of aQuantive last year.

According to a press statement released by Microsoft yesterday, Rapt’s technology, along with its information and advisory services offerings, will become key components of the Atlas Publisher Suite, part of Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group.

“Online publishers have a complex array of needs, and they require more attentive and sophisticated partners to help them solve these challenges,” said Brian McAndrews, senior vice-president of the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group.

“With this acquisition, we are uniquely positioned to help publishers succeed on all fronts. Our end-to-end solution will include workflow tools, advert package and delivery, turnkey distribution, content partnerships and yield management and optimisation,” he said.

Founded in 1998, Rapt is privately held, with its head office in San Francisco and an office in New York City. The company is funded by Accel Partners and Levensohn Venture Partners.

Rapt delivers critical yield management technology to a number of digital media leaders, including Dow Jones & Company, MTV Networks, and Yahoo!. The most recent additions include Expedia, Fox Interactive Media, New York Times, Reuters, and USA Today.

Even Microsoft was one of Rapt’s clients and according to Associated Press, Tom Chavez, the chief executive of Rapt, said in a recent interview that his company’s technology helped boost MSN’s ad revenue 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

With the inclusion of Rapt, the Atlas Publisher Suite allows Microsoft to provide its customers with integrated asset and inventory management, forecasting, yield and sales management and ad delivery and operations.

Last month, Microsoft proposed a new approach on how the effectiveness of an online campaign should be measured. With its Engagement Mapping concept, Microsoft tries to go beyond the “last ad clicked” standard that has been widely accepted in the past 10 years. According to the company, Engagement Mapping takes into account all the online touchpoints and interactions a consumer experiences before an eventual sale is made.

The numbers

20%: Boost in advertisement revenue of MSN due to Rapt Inc technology

10: Years during which the “last ad clicked” standard has been in use, which Microsoft wants to change