Axel Springer And Microsoft Expand Partnership Across Advertising, AI, Content And Azure Services

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The companies will leverage each other's strengths in digital publishing and technology to accelerate growth in the era of AI

REDMOND, Wash., and BERLIN, April 29, 2024 /CNW/ -- Axel Springer SE and Microsoft Corp. have announced an expanded, multifaceted partnership across advertising, AI, content and cloud computing. The cooperation aims to leverage cutting-edge innovation to support independent journalism around the world. 

The partnership will expand and deepen the existing cooperation on different levels. The existing adtech collaboration will be expanded to encompass POLITICO. Building on a mutual commitment to the principles and potential of responsible AI, both companies will partner to develop new AI-driven experiences for their users. In addition, Microsoft Start-MSN users will have access to more premium content from Axel Springer's news brands, and Axel Springer will migrate its SAP solutions to Microsoft Azure. 

"In this new era of AI, partnerships are critical to preserving and promoting independent journalism while ensuring a thriving media landscape," said Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer. "We're optimistic about the future of journalism and the opportunities we can unlock through this expanded partnership with Microsoft." 

"This new generation of AI is transforming nearly every aspect of work and life, including how people search for and consume content online," said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. "Our expanded partnership with Axel Springer brings together their leadership in digital publishing with the full power of the Microsoft Cloud — including our ad solutions — to build innovative AI-driven experiences and create new opportunity for advertisers and users."

Key elements of the partnership 

  • Extending adtech collaboration to the U.S.: Axel Springer will adopt Microsoft Advertising as its ad server solution, expanding its existing partnership from Europe to the U.S. POLITICO will integrate Microsoft Advertising technology as a comprehensive solution enhanced by Axel Springer's adtech management and optimization layer AdLib. POLITICO will also be integrated into the Microsoft Advertising Network, allowing advertisers to reach a broader audience.
  • Powering new AI experiences and monetization: Axel Springer will partner with Microsoft to pilot new innovative AI-driven chat experiences to better inform and engage their users with Axel Springer's journalistic content. The cooperation will further fuel Axel Springer's ventures in AI, building on projects such as the AI assistant Hey_, powered among others by Azure OpenAI Service. In addition, Axel Springer will leverage Microsoft Advertising's Chat Ads API for generative AI monetization.
  • Enhanced content offerings through Microsoft Start-MSN: Axel Springer is expanding its Microsoft Start-MSN partnership to provide users with access to more premium content from leading journalistic brands such as Business Insider, POLITICO, BILD and WELT, reaching millions of users across devices and markets.
  • Microsoft Azure expansion: In addition to extending its use of Azure AI capabilities for AI innovation, the digital publisher will also transform and migrate its SAP solutions to Microsoft Azure, the trusted and secure cloud platform, to enhance scalability, reliability and performance across its digital infrastructure.
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