Microsoft Monetize - Programmatic buying on Xbox for marketers


Xbox is leading the transformation in the living room for both gaming and entertainment while making impactful connections to consumers along the way. Brands can interact with an engaged audience on the largest screen in the home to deliver immersive experiences and effective results, maximizing the return on video content investments.

Xbox allows buyers to create impactful advertising experiences unlike any other:

  • Premium ad locations
  • 100% above the fold in a secured and clutter-free environment
  • Banner clicks to full-TV screen video
  • Use our proprietory Xbox user data for targeting
  • Bring your own data

The Xbox programmatic makes use of the unique Xbox environment. It allows advertisers to execute deals with automation and data. This solution is an invite-only private marketplace focused on premium brands.

Reach a diverse, engaged audience at home:

  • 64 million monthly Xbox users
  • 52% log in once a day or more
  • 110 hours average Xbox usage per month
  • 58% male and 42% female

For more questions on buying programmatic on Xbox, contact your OATH / AppNexus Account Manager. For more information on Microsoft’s Creative Acceptance Policy and Specifications, see Microsoft Creative Acceptance Policy and Microsoft Creative Specifications.

All creative is subject to final approval by Xbox prior to going live.

Video creative requirements

  • VAST 2.0 ONLY
  • Recommended Duration: 15 sec – 1 min (Creatives of up to 3 min can be accommodated upon request)
  • Bitrate: 10-12 Mbps
  • File Type: H.264 mpeg-dash or ProRes(.MP4 or .MOV)
  • Frame Size: 1920x1080
  • Frame Rate: 29.97
  • Audio Spec: AAC, 48000Hz, Stereo, Audio
  • Quality High, Bitrate 320
  • 1080p HD recommended, 720p acceptable

Native banner creative requirements


  • Ad Size (Home): 380x212
  • Ad Size (Store): 428x240

To keep Banner design clean and simple:

  • Avoid lengthy copy - CTAs should be short, relevant, and eye-catching

  • Avoid small condensed copy - Readers will view from 6’-10’ away, so keeping visual elements minimal is key.

    Screenshots of recommended and not recommended visual elements in banner design.

  • Do not create a “button” within a selectable ad unit since all tiles have an active system-generated “focus” state.

  • Do not use CTAs that reference direct interaction with the placement (“press A” etc.).

    Screenshots of correct and incorrect CTAs that ask for direct interaction with the banner by pressing a key.

  • Do not use CTAs that reference direct interaction with the placement (“Click Here”, “Click Now!” etc.).

    Screenshots of correct and incorrect CTAs that ask for direct interaction with the banner by clicking on it.

  • Do not mimic system tiles on the dash (i.e. Xbox green tiles with iconography similar to those that are on the Xbox One dash).

    Screenshots of correct and incorrect use of iconography in banner design.

Designing for the Xbox environment


Banners with CTAs typically drive better engagement with users. Following are some examples of CTAs that are concise but powerful.

Screenshots with examples of powerful CTAs in banners.

Design requirements to keep in mind

  • Font in banners must be minimum 18pt font size or higher, and be legible from 6"-10" away.
  • Small graphics and thin lines, below 2px in thickness do not render well on TVs
  • Use TV safe colors to avoid visual disturbances. Avoid saturated colors in areas of small detail.
  • Preview colors for TV using Photoshop’s built-in NTSC filter. Images or layers must first be rasterized to apply this filter.
  • Maximum White - RGB 234, 235, 235 or Hex#ebebeb
  • Maximum Black - RGB 15, 15, 15 or Hex#0f0f0f
  • No use of buttons or button-like imagery, including calls to action such as “Click here” or click indicator arrows.
  • Banners should not feature any Xbox consoles unless having received explicit permissions from MS advertising to use those images on-console.
  • Banners cannot feature any competitor products, including other gaming consoles, phone, tablet or other devices, or other MS products.