The ninemsn joint venture between Microsoft and Nine Entertainment Co has today revealed details of its new corporate and trade brand, Mi9, which spans publishing, advertising, data, gaming consoles, and an integrated production house.

Announced in November last year, the ‘M’ and the ‘9’ in the brand name should obvious, but the ‘i’ stands for imagination and intelligence, says CEO Mark Britt.

“We’re extending our reach with our ad network, leading the market shift to programmatic trading, making a big bet on data and driving brand experiences onto new properties like Xbox. Mi9 is the articulation of our evolved digital offering,” says Britt.

The brand is broken up into three branches: Mi9 Media, Mi9 Data and Technology and Mi9 Ventures.

Todays announcement included that of the appointment of former Starcom UK managing director Matt James to the role of MD of Mi9 Media, which comprises all commercial functions:

  • Mi9 Advertising: selling Mi9 owned and operated premium sites, where context is important to advertisers,
  • Microsoft Media Network: represents Mi9’s third party advertising network and performance products,
  • Microsoft Advertising Exchange: launched in Australia last year, a real-time bidding marketplace that allows advertisers to bid on premium online inventory on an individual impression basis,
  • Mi9 Studios: previously NinePixels, Mi9’s creative design and development team, with an expanded offering focused on branded content and online video production, and
  • Mi9 Insights: focused on providing research into consumer behaviour online and translating that into actionable insights for advertisers.

The second arm of the brand, Mi9 Data and Technology, will be led by chief data and technology officer Richard McLaren, and has created the Mi9 Data Engine, which is intended to help marketers reach their audiences efficiently than ‘off-the-shelf’ segmentation.

Mi9 Ventures incorporates investments including Cudo, iSelect and Rate City.

The launch today comes less than a week after Britt called on Australian premium publishers to join the ‘private’ Microsoft Advertising Exchange and ally against the ‘Death Star’ that is Google’s ‘public’ DoubleClick ad exchange, open to advertisers and publishers of all shapes and sizes.