I’m writing you from the BUILD conference in San Francisco, where the Windows developer community has gathered to learn more about the amazing set of platform capabilities in the Windows 8 operating system and prepare for the arrival of Windows 8.1. This week is all about how to develop modern applications for Windows and add to the already 100,000 applications available today through the Windows Store. It’s a busy week, so I want to share updates on the tools we’re providing that will help developers better monetize their in-app inventory for Windows 8 and gear up for Windows 8.1.
Prepare for Windows 8.1 with the new Advertising SDK
As you’ve seen this week, the next version of Windows will deliver additional functionality for both consumers and app developers. In preparation for the launch of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has made it easier than ever to use advertising to monetize your app. The new Windows 8.1 Ad SDK is built to enable targeting across our App Network as well as take advantage of the forthcoming benefits of Windows 8.1. In addition to targeting - age, gender, and geo - for all Windows 8.1 apps, the new Ad SDK will also improve Z-index issues and enable in-banner dynamic ads on XAML apps.
In addition, the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows 8.1 comes integrated in Visual Studio and developers can now provision their app and ad units from within Visual Studio without having to go to pubCenter. This is a great thing for developers because it saves time and makes ad monetization easier.
To access this new Windows 8.1 Ad SDK, App builders can download the Microsoft Ad SDK for Windows 8.1 on our developer website: adsinapps.microsoft.com or take advantage of the Microsoft Ad SDK integration with Visual Studio 2013.
Update your Windows 8 Applications now to Boost Monetization on Windows 8
Today, we are also announcing two easy ways for developers to boost monetization on Windows 8. The first is the availability of an updated Windows 8 Advertising SDK with targeting. To download this updated SDK, visit our developer website: adsinapps.microsoft.com. Our updated Ad SDK for Windows 8 now enables targeting – age, gender, geography - across our App Network. To have your app included in this pool of targetable inventory, you should implement the new Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows 8 as soon as possible.
Targeting is an important tool for advertisers on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 that will help make ads even more relevant to consumers. Our latest research indicates that people are finding Windows 8 an effective platform for digital advertising. In fact, people who were exposed to Ads in Apps showed measured shifts in their perceptions of the advertised brand, and we saw bumps in brand familiarity, affinity and purchase consideration.
We also learned that consumers were open to advertising in the Windows 8 environment because engagement with the ad is on their terms. More than 60 percent of respondents tested said they were comfortable with brands being advertised within Ads in Apps for Windows 8.
We’re thrilled that consumers and marketers alike see the potential with Windows 8 and we will continue to put consumers first in our approach to advertising on this platform. With the new Advertising SDKs consumers can opt-out of targeted advertising on a per-app level. The new Ad SDKs contain a “personalized advertising” setting giving consumers the ability to manage their targeting preferences at an app level via the Settings Charm. People can also manage their preferences at a global level by visiting http://choice.microsoft.com.
To start taking advantage of the improved Windows 8 Advertising SDK with targeting, we recommend you download and update your applications as soon as possible. Both the Windows 8.1 Ad SDK and Windows 8.0 Ad SDK can be found here: adsinapps.microsoft.com.
New Windows 8 Ad Sizes
Based on this feedback, we’re reducing the number of anchor ad sizes (the initial advertising experience on Windows 8) to focus on the ad units that have the greatest demand and are adding an IAB-standard ad unit: the popular 300x600. We believe this will benefit both developers and advertisers as we look to provide additional supply of popular anchor ad sizes.
To summarize our Ad Size updates:
- We are discontinuing three anchor ad sizes: 292x60, 500x130, 250x125
- We are adding this new IAB-standard ad size: 300x600
- The anchor ad sizes that we will support moving forward are: 250x250, 300x250, 728x90, 160x600, 300x600
What does this mean for developers: If your app does not include a discontinued ad size there is no action required. However, if your app includes a 292x60, 500x130, or 250x125 we encourage you to update your app as soon as possible to reflect the rationalized ad sizes and resubmit your app to Windows Store.
For more information on managing ad sizes, please visit http://adsinapps.microsoft.com/pubcenter
Next Steps and Resources for Developers
Both the Windows 8.1 Ad SDK and Windows 8.0 Ad SDK can be found here: adsinapps.microsoft.com.
We recommend that app builders make any adjustments for ad size rationalization at the same time as integrating the updated Ad SDK for Windows 8 so that you only need to resubmit your app to Windows Store one time.
For additional technical information and step by step guidance on how to prepare for Windows 8.1, please visit: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/
If you have questions, I invite you to contact Global Publisher Support.
I want to thank you again for your continued partnership! I have never been more excited about the road ahead.