Digg is joining forces with Microsoft for the next three years. Today Digg’s founder Kevin Rose announced that Microsoft has been chosen to serve all of Digg’s ads –and they’ll also be responsible for finding Digg’s advertisers.
“This move gives us an advertising partner with a larger organization,” Rose explained, “and a more scalable technology platform to keep pace with Digg’s growth.”
The deal takes effect within a few weeks, according to a statement from Microsoft. Steve Berkowitz, from Microsoft’s Online Services Group, added that “We believe advertisers will welcome Microsoft and Digg’s combined strengths to forge more meaningful connections online.”
Rose hopes the deal will allow Digg to focus on adding new features to the service. He hinted that “images is coming,” and rushed to assure Digg’s users that “we’re as focused as ever on a great user experience.
“So, no dancing monkey ads, and the design will remain uncluttered.”
It’s bad news for Digg’s former advertising partner — Federated Media. According to their web site, each month Digg achieved an impressive 143,280,000 pageviews for which FM was selling ads. (FM also reports that 94% of the audience was male, and 88% of them were between the ages of 18 and 39.)
But last month another Federated Media site complained online that their ad sales were slow. “We’ll say this publicly: Federated Media do a crap job at selling ads on the PSFK network… FM tell us that they still have to educate the market, we just don’t know an alternative to take our business to.”
Federated Media could not be reached for comment — but in Microsoft’s press release, they included a quote from FM founder John Battelle. (“We are thrilled to work with these two world-class companies…”)
Battelle’s final sentiments? “Digg is truly a remarkable brand.”
Kevin Rose noted that Digg and FM would still be working together. “Federated Media, which has been an awesome partner for thelast year and a half, will continue working with Digg,” he wrote, “focusing on integrated sponsorships and custom programs like the Arc project in labs.” (And Microsoft’s Berkowitz added that “Federated Media has unique advertising sales assets that dovetail with our efforts, and we look forward to working with them.”)
While the official announcement occurs later today, Kevin Rose shared the news on the Digg blog — and as a blurb he submitted to Digg. Within 19 minutes, it had 57 votes, and had been promoted to Digg’s front page.
But reaction from Digg members was ambivalent. “Let’s hear a date, homeboy,” one user demanded.
“I might be upset,” posted another, “if it were not for my glorious Adblock Plus that prevents me from wasting my time with those silly ads…”
“I can hardly believe you signed with Microsoft,” another commenter added. “Then again I can’t blame you if they offered you enough cash.
“The ironic part is that your servers run Debian GNU/Linux haha.”