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Microsoft Buys TV Ad Placement Firm, May Fuse Technology to 'Net

Navic, I always
found you prettiest

Having failed to successfully woo Yahoo, Microsoft bounced back in style: today it announced the purchase of Navic Networks, a major TV ad placement vendor.

Navic provides audience measurement and ad delivery tools to the cable and broadcast satellite TV industries. It also patented a process where addressable advertising and interactive TV apps can appear across digital set-top boxes. It has raised $43 million in three previous rounds of funding.

The deal signifies an industry shift from web-focused advertising back to TV, reports MediaPost. But given Microsoft's recent decision to unite its cross-media ad technology under one department, the buy also points to increasingly fervent synergies between TV and online.

In May, Google launched Google TV, which weds online targeting and do-it-yourself ad creation to the traditional boob tube. Online women's network Glam has begun exploring TV network liaisons. TV station The CW launched soap opera-style shorts that require users to toggle between laptop and television; and ABC began distributing online make-goods to broadcast TV advertisers.

Navic shall join Microsoft's Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group.


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