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Longstanding investor in Looksmart (& a 67 yr old ex-tradesman), who has a passionate interest in the problems of newspapers along with their success in all their monetisation attempts made, on the web. For the "times are indeed, a changin", I feel. [17th of Aug, 2011 - Print media... More
  • For Newspapers, Digital Ad Growth Stalls - But Temporarily 0 comments
    Jun 20, 2012 5:21 AM

    < "Yahoo is going to be a media company again - in the digital ad sales business and not in the ad tech business," said one person.>

    I've always felt that Microsoft's Bing (search) will ultimately become the SE of choice for many of the members within the (some 850 newspapers or, so) YPN - the, Yahoo Publisher Network. As was posted here.

    The AllThingsDigital (Kara Swisher's) story contained in my previous instapost (I feel) was/has been 'blind-sided' by the news surrounding Microsoft's new Surface tablet computer. (By design?)

    That ..."Yahoo is going to be a media company again - in the digital ad sales business and not in the ad tech business"...makes so much sense.

    Not just for Yahoo-but for many/all of those 850 odd newspaper Co's within the YPN. Whereby Yahoo and those same newspaper publishers will settle on Bing as there appointed site/s search - and all (including Yahoo) get to then focus on (instead of on technology), the selling of their premium ad sales and sponsorships. (And "local", perhaps?)

    Newspapers are now at a 'Stand Still'

    As it stands, things have clearly come to a 'halt' in the newspaper world of web based advertising initiatives.

    < A flood of excess advertising space, the rise of electronic advertising exchanges that sell ads at cut-rate prices, and the weak U.S. economy are all contributing to the slowdown, publishing executives & observers say.

    For an industry savaged by the erosion of print advertising dollars, significantly boosting digital revenue is necessary for survival. But the double-digit online growth rates that many newspapers used to enjoy -- and on which their hopes for a prosperous future rest -- could be a thing of the past.>


    Publisher (globally, not just in the US) are long 'overdue' on their fully capitalising on all their 'offshore' visitors, to read their prized content.

    And many people (users) are being 'driven' to their content from links all over the web and in particular, from 'social' - meaning the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

    That Global Performance marketplace

    All publishers get to common-ly "share" users wherever they may land, within a ONE (global) advertiser/publisher performance (search intent), based marketplace.

    Certainly this becomes the case, when advertisers do eventually get to 'target' these users, purely based on 'search intent' - provided by a ONE source (Looksmart), that obtains this RT (real time) 'user Data', from off the search engines! It then becomes that ultimate in 'you scratch mine and I'll scratch yours'..by their coming together and sharing of those such highly sought after impressions.

    Stronger Bids

    Increased bids (with each user/impression being blind to all parties) will ultimately come from the advertiser side of the likes of Google, Microsoft, Facebook (eventually) and other DSP's representing marketers. This then (naturally) will improve that all important ROI, for all publishers involved.

    Data obtained from newspaper users (and off any site search conducted - think of Facebook ads for starters), then becomes an 'added' individual attraction for them to secure advertisers-certainly when its layered on top of that 'search intent' data that's already much like a consensus of their (those search engine's) contributions.

    For Looksmart's unique independent management involvement (and it's strong effect on both the advertiser's own total spend-and a publisher's ultimate ROI had, per impression) there does appear to be a 20% (only) payment being made. (To Looksmart) With the 80% that's remaining - then being passed on to a publisher or, it's respective representation. (Google- representing Google's own publisher network-and possibly, in time, Yahoo- in it's own representation of, the YPN? This'd then see newspapers selling 'local' to them-performance, into the marketplace.)

    From Looksmart's (assumed) 20% gross revenue, TAC (of around 50%) is then paid on to the respective search engine, the one that's providing Looksmart with each (singular) IP 'addy' of an 'in market' user-as is then being sold on to advertisers within the marketplace. They start bidding against each other (for a target impression), thus benefiting all those within this entire equation. And that Includes each 'user', who then get's to receive more relevant advertising.

    Is how I am seeing this all 'pan out'. My opinion, only.

    LOOK: At 3:59PM EDT: $0.83 Down 0.04 (-4.60%)

    With a stated $22.4 million 'in cash', todays close has Looksmart with a market capitalisation of just $14.35M - Talk about dumb!


    Disclosure: Long LOOK and so happy to be so, too.


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