Microsoft Advertising expands Chat Ads API reach with Direqt partnership

Microsoft Advertising expands Chat Ads API reach with Direqt partnership

Microsoft Advertising this week announced a new partnership with Direqt, an AI chatbot platform designed specifically for publishers. This collaboration expands the reach of Microsoft's Chat Ads API, a solution enabling publishers to monetize their chat experiences through advertising.

The Chat Ads API allows publishers to integrate advertising directly into chat functionalities on their platforms. This partnership follows successful integrations with industry leaders like Axel Springer, Snapchat, and Baidu. According to Microsoft Advertising, these collaborations have yielded positive results for advertisers, with growth in mobile click volume and conversion rates across various sectors.

Direqt offers a unique value proposition for publishers: unlike other chatbot platforms, Direqt caters specifically to media brands. It empowers publishers to create engaging experiences with branded conversational AIs trained on their own content. This allows publishers to maintain control over content and messaging while fostering user engagement.

Direqt's strengths for marketers

The announcement highlights several key aspects of Direqt that could be attractive to marketers:

  • Established Network: Direqt boasts a network of over 90 publishers, including prominent names like ESPN, The Sun, and Cosmopolitan. This network reaches over 270 million users through Direqt's chatbot discovery platform, offering access to a substantial audience base.
  • Large Reach: Direqt's publisher network generates over 3 billion pageviews per month and reaches over 300 million unique users. Additionally, their chatbot distribution network connects with over 260 million users across various platforms like messaging apps, social media, and chatbot discovery services.
  • Targeted Audience: Direqt's user base skews heavily mobile (over 80%) and features a significant Gen-Z demographic (25%). This can be particularly attractive for marketers targeting younger audiences on mobile devices.

Initially, a select group of Direqt publishers will gain access to the Chat Ads API. Microsoft Advertising anticipates expanding access to the entire Direqt network by June 2024. This phased approach allows for controlled implementation and optimization before broader adoption.

Implications for marketers

The Microsoft Advertising and Direqt partnership presents a new avenue for marketers to reach engaged audiences within publisher chat experiences. Here are some key takeaways for marketers:

  • Emerging Platform: The Chat Ads API and Direqt platform represent a relatively new advertising channel. Early adopters may benefit from first-mover advantages and potentially lower competition.
  • Targeted Reach: Direqt's user base offers access to a significant mobile audience with a strong Gen-Z presence. This can be valuable for marketers targeting these demographics.
  • Evolving Landscape: As the Chat Ads API and Direqt platform develop, marketers should stay informed about targeting options, audience insights, and measurement capabilities to optimize campaigns.

Overall, the Microsoft Advertising and Direqt partnership signifies a growing trend of integrating advertising within chat experiences. Marketers seeking to reach engaged mobile audiences, particularly younger demographics, should closely monitor the development of this new advertising channel.

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