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Microsoft Highlights Video Advertising Opportunities at NewFront

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It's NewFront season in New York City, and for most of the 19 companies holding events, that means showing off new and upcoming online series to the advertising and marketing communities, reaching out to advertisers and branding partners. That wasn't the point of this morning's Microsoft event, however, which instead spotlighted advertising and custom content opportunities across Microsoft properties. 

While the Microsoft event was a part of the newfront season currently underway, it was actually the fifth annual Microsoft Advertising Digital Showcase. Microsoft didn't announce any new series, although speakers did promote a few existing series, such as DV Guide.

The big news of the event was that ESPN is now an advertising partner with Xbox Live, an announcement that took about a minute of the three-hour presentation. Advertisers can purchase 15- or 30-second spots on Xbox Live TV apps, which now includes ESPN placement.

The event was hosted by actress and writer Felicia Day, who credited Microsoft sponsorship for helping her online series "The Guild" find an audience. Olympic gold medalist and Fox Sports analyst Dominique Dawes talked about human interest segments she had already taped for the upcoming Summer Games, while "Rock Center with Brian Williams" correspondent Kate Snow detailed an experiment putting a story online before it aired, finding that the online version reached an entirely new audience.

The presentation was joined by several Microsoft executives who showed Microsoft's prowess in creating custom advertising experiences, and told how online video advertising could reach viewers who watch little broadcast television.

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