Microsoft Launches Mobile Ad Exchange

The software giant today launched the Microsoft Advertising Exchange for Mobile, which it is touting as the first such platform designed to sell mobile ad inventory via a real-time, auction bidding model.

The announcement is timed just prior to Microsoft’s introduction of the Windows Phone 7 operating system in October. The company is encouraging developers who plan to create applications for Windows Phone 7 to tap into the exchange to monetize their apps.

Microsoft says it has also lined up several mobile ad networks to participate in the exchange, including Millennial Media, Where, InMobi and MobClix. However, it should be noted that Microsoft has not mentioned any plans to work with two of the biggest players in mobile: Google (which runs its own network AdMob) and Apple.

It remains to be seen if buyers gravitate to a mobile exchange at this nascent stage, as ad spending in the space is only just now ramping up. According to eMarketer, mobile ad revenue will be close to $600 million in 2010.