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Will Looksmart's RTB Marketplace assist ValueClick's expected double-digit increase?

Looksmart investor Bodybag2006 had asked the question (on Yahoo), as to ValueClick's recent purchase [VCLK buys Investopedia for $42M], and is wondering is this move ......"Good or bad for LOOK?"

The answer (in a nutshell) centers around RTB ("Real-Time Bidding") and the bright future ahead for all that are involved.

Looksmart's CEO had advised the market of signing a "new" client (within the recent Conference Call), following the Co's excellent report of it's Q2 results and a welcomed return to profitability.

< "We must also keep in mind that the IAC/ASK revenue stream [and they had helped build the Looksmart award winning AdCenter Platform, with MSN- read Looksmart's current report], is a strong contributor to the overall gross margin.

Although we continue to service this customer on a monthly basis, we expect this revenue stream to grow well in the near future.

We do continue to receive, however, enquiries regarding the license of our AdCenter platforms from interested partners.

We recently signed a new client from that service offering & we are in negotiations with others.">

On RTB (again, from within the CC) Looksmart's CEO had advised of the following:

< "A couple of weeks ago, we released an important enhancement to our Ad Network platform called Quality Training.Quality Training allows us to score the quality of each individual clicks in real-time based on a set of defined metrics & block it from being delivered to our customers when the click does not meet the quality requirements that have been set.

These enhancements strengthens our ability to deliver the traffic that consistently meets the agreed-upon metrics of our customers.">

There is no doubt that this "new" client (and possibly another one or, two?), has already seen traffic Reach through AdCenter increasing by some 33% over the past 3 months. Of which, only the ONE month (of that noticeable increase), may have had an effect on the Q2 numbers, but could well be (I feel - already) reflecting this "new" client, as was advised by Looksmart from in the CC?.

Check the 6 month chart for recent "Reach" growth (from Alexa), here, causing a 33% rise over the past 3 months, with what appears to be in operation, just a little over two months:

ValueClick's own advice that they have embraced RTB with a "new" platform release (as told here, by, really does say it all:
CEO Jim Zarley said in the release, "I am confident that we can accelerate this growth in the second half of the year, while continuing to look for high quality acquisitions like Investopedia that provide synergy opportunities with our existing businesses."


....that the company's new real-time bidding platform and more feet on the street will help the company meet an expected double-digit increase in its media business at the end of the year. It was {also} apparent that the company sees the Investopedia acquisition announced as an important audience targeting opportunity that will be unlocked by real-time bidding - especially as ValueClick's owned & operated and media businesses merge.

ValueClick's MediaPlex (as was reported here on SA) had joined a strong list of 'others' (including Google's DoubleClick for Advertisers, Microsoft's Atlas and APT from Yahoo!) in what I believe was a "standardised" (kind of) approach in regards to Analytics. (via Omniture - a long time, known Looksmart technology partner),

The "standardising of Analytics" will (no doubt) help ValueClicks's "more feet on the street" (approach) to be able to offer agencies an opprtunity of a ONE buy campaign with the option of going direct (by selecting specific content/sites) or (at scale, and at a much more reasonable bid cost), through the Looksmart secondary marketplace.

Is how I am (roughly) seeing it all.

As has been pointed out in my above link, that in using the Looksmart private labeled platform (and an eventual marketplace of enormous scale), publishers will enjoy much healthier bid price payments by eliminating many of the "middleman's slice", as does currently exists.

With a situation (then), of having........Just the .. "three direct intermediaries at most: (1) buyer's agent, (2) seller's agent and (3) marketplace.

So (I guess) in answering Bodybag2006's question, I have to say that ValueClick's purchase of Investopedia is not only good for Looksmart, but will certainly be for VCLK and ALL of it's (extensive) other (those existing), publisher partners.

They bought LOOK share up today (to as high as $1.62), before Market Makers drove the SP value down once again. Looksmart trades with a Market Cap of just $26.25M in spite of a stated cash position (end of Q2), of $25.5 million. Truly amazing!!

LOOK: 3:53PM EDT: $1.53  Up 0.03 (+2.00%)


ps; Note the mention of ValueClick's "". (And a known and previously announced Looksmart partner) in an InstaPost made, around this time last year.

Note (also) the (historical and) spectacular growth in traffic "Reach" to (for) this ValueClick site and that it (too), is UP 23% over the past 3 months.

, is

pps; They're leaving 'no stone unturned', no doubt?

SEC Filing Alert LookSmart, Ltd. has filed the following document(s) with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Aug 09, 2010

Form 4 / Castagna, Anthony

Form 4 / Sanders, Mark L

Form 4 / Dexmier, Jean-Yves

Form 4 / Dial, Terri A

Form 4 / Wright, Timothy

View all SEC FilingsAug 09, 2010

Form 4 / Knorr, Bert

View all SEC Filings

That "pot of GOLD at the end of the Rainbow"?

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