MSN.ca launches in Canada
After ending its partnership with Bell Sympatico, Microsoft Canada is launching its own portal with multimedia features and ad opps across PC, mobile, gaming and, of course, the web.
After five years of Bell Sympatico-partnered MSN.com, Microsoft Canada is launching a Canadian version – MSN.ca – tomorrow. The bilingual site, now owned and operated exclusively by Microsoft Corporation, will deliver Canadian and global news across channels with content from the likes of MSNBC, BBC, Delish, CBC/Radio-Canada, Chatelaine and Protégez-vous.
The new site, which features blogs, exclusive columnists, photo galleries, streaming music and video, and a host of social media options, also comes with ad opps that span PC, mobile, gaming and the web.
In a release this morning, Owen Sagness, Microsoft Canada VP and GM, consumer and online said that Microsoft Advertising, the sales and marketing group, is planning to help grow the digital opportunity in Canada ‘beyond what currently exists today’ by forming long-term relationships with the Canadian advertising and marketing community, and that it plans to ‘invest time with clients and agencies to create compelling digital solutions.’
The new Canadian site also comes with personalization features via its Windows Live ‘signed-in’ feature which allows users to send and receive email, instant messages and participate in MSN channel blogs using Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger and Bing embedded directly into the MSN.ca homepage.
The site can also be followed on mobile at msnmobile.ca, and includes updates and breaking stories on news, sports, lifestyle, entertainment and celebrity gossip on Twitter (@MSNca) and Facebook.
Meanwhile, for its part, Bell is launching Sympatico.ca to which the former sympatico.msn.ca homepage will be redirected. The new site will include four new channels – Autos, Inmovies.ca, YourMoney.ca and Reader’s Digest’s Best Health – and leverage the Bing search engine.
Sympatico.ca’s channels, which get 6.8 million Canadian visitors a month according to comScore Media Metrix June 2009 data, will remain exclusively available via Sympatico.ca, and include branded sites like Celebedge.ca; Fashionism.ca; InMusic.ca, featuring the interview show The Hook and the Live @ The Orange Lounge concert series; tech-centric blog Sync.ca; and snowboard and skateboard site Push.ca.
‘It’s clear that creating two distinct portals now allows market expansion by both partners in terms of new online advertising and revenue opportunities,’ Kevin Crull, president of Bell Residential Services said in a recent release today.
According to comScore Canada’s June 2004 to May 2009 numbers, MSN.com was the number one most-visited online portal in Canada. The two companies will continue to exchange traffic between each other’s portals, as part of the new three-year agreement, and Sympatico.ca will continue to offer Windows Live Hotmail and Messenger inventory to Canadian advertisers.