In contrast to the great expectations accompanying its beta to duke it out with Google Analytics, the end of the adAnalytics beta and product was announced quietly on March 12. While there hasn’t been an official reason given, it doesn’t seem like there was ever a really big following for the solution. While certainly not scientific proof of this, the lack of response to a feedback request on the adAnalytics blog back in July makes you wonder what the take up of the solution actually was in the end. In general, it was surprising that it was such a non-factor in the analytics space. Perhaps adAnalytics will be best remembered for its ability to provide a limited amount of demographic data on about 25% of users based on their MS Passport Live ID...an intriguing concept, but not complete enough to draw any meaningful conclusions about traffic to your site. While it may be entertaining to speculate on whether MSFT will pursue the analytics game going forward, I’m not sure what they would need to do so. Sure, companies such as Omniture, Coremetrics and WebTrends are all possible acquisition candidates, but I don’t think they have much reason to do so. If it’s data that they want, they can get that through the rest of their web and PC-based applications and services.
I also don’t see this as any type of rejection of free analytics…I see more and more organizations looking to integrate Google Analytics into their web analytics framework as a way to service low demand analytics consumers and cut down on page view charges associated with their fee based vendors. And while many in the market may be frustrated at the lack of availability of Yahoo! Analytics there will likely be more interest in direct proportion to access over the coming months. No, the adAnalytics marketing strategy just failed to materialize effectively, and Microsoft clearly saw no reason to keep a service that added little or no value to its bottom line.
If you're anywhere between NYC and DC, lets meet up at JBoye's Philadelphia conference May 5-7. I'll be speaking on Strategic Techniques for Improving Your Web Analytics will show you how a well executed web analytics strategy leads to successful analytics solution implementations.