Gannett Buying BlinQ - Said Simply To Be, "Old Media Buys New Media"?

Aug. 21, 2012 10:28 PM ET
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Contributor Since 2006

Longstanding investor in Looksmart (and a 70 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 (sadly), has lost a sense of that preponderance it once held in our society. There is hope. - But it needs a fundamental change in that ingrained culture that has been the way, of the past. Please read the article linked below (and especially all the 'free' user comment), that has also been added today.] And, history will soon show that ACAP (the, Automated Content Access Protocol), that I have been so "passionate" about in many a post made everywhere over the past few years, will not only become a part of our every-day lives, but will be fiercely-enforced along the way...And rightly so... Where your "free" (Local) "rag", may well even survive and become (as was also predicted by myself back in 2005). the very "lynch pin" between local business and the web! :) And it seems that Europe will lead the way....It's a lengthy read, that some will find is well worth-while to do so. "Publishers demand IP Rights To Protect Journalism" Cheers!! Added August 16th, 2011 - "Newspapers Need a DNA Transplant" March 6th, 2012 - "Newspapers: It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a culture problem" “Publishers need to think how that [their] brand lives on the Web" - Rupert Murdoch: The future of newspapers is all digital New Orleans, newspapers and the beginning of the end By Mathew Ingram May. 25, 2012 Friday Sep 21, 2012, 11:22pm EDT LOOK: $0.89 Up 0.08 (+10.53%) 4:00PM EDT|After Hours : 0.89 Up 0.00 (0.03%) 4:09PM EDT Two excellent articles I've just read (I feel) encapsulate this lon 'drawn out' road to come up with a solution that becomes, the 'intersection of search and display'. Read on.... "Do you hear that rumble in the distance? It’s change coming. What sort of change, you ask? Well, the events of the last few weeks collectively point to a pretty big shift in the search landscape. First, has traditional search engine usage reached its peak? When people skip over a search engine and go straight to Amazon for product search, it’s clear that either Amazon is doing something very right, or search engines need to improve their results. Changes to Google Shopping may help improve the experience for users, but is it too little too late?" Then.... "Google News, its executives tell me, now "algorithmically harvests" articles from more than 50,000 news sources across 72 editions and 30 languages. And Google News-powered results, Google says, are viewed by about 1 billion unique users a week. (Yep, that's billion with a b.) Which translates, for news outlets overall, to more than 4 billion clicks each month: 1 billion from Google News itself and an additional 3 billion from web search. As a Google representative put it, "That's about 100,000 business opportunities we provide publishers every minute." It's been an amazing story all the way. With LUMA Partners publishing it's LUMAscapes that map over 1,500 companies across seven sub-sectors of digital:companies saying, that within the circles alone [they] represent approximately $3 trillion of market capitalization and $450 billion of cash and securities. - Where do they start to rein-in some of that invested capital? My thoughts are contained in the following two links:

In an initial post surrounding this (now confirmed) acquisition I had opined that a (any?) reader should take whatever they are able to from this announcement. - - and that I had previously noted BlinQ as being 'just another brick in the wall', here on my instablog.

I do feel that it's much more significant than being (as was put in an article today) simply a case of ....."Old media buys new media".

And according to this (the above linked) VentureBeat account, rumors peg the sale price between $40 million & $90 million, with a portion said to be trickling in over the next couple years. (Being, performance related)

In an older instapost (when mentioning Blinq) I make the point, that:

I strongly believe that "Blinq Media" (as with a number of other DSPs - are only licensing the Looksmart 'Advertiser solutions' API- that [as a result, this] is allowing them to gain access into the buying of the Facebook inventory.

Bearing in mind Facebook must (at all times), guard against or, protect it's own precious (900M member's), user data!

So this deal (I am assuming) will now bring Gannett into (and, with full global advertiser/publisher access/benefits) Looksmart's marketplace.

<Jolie O'Dell (in her article) writes -"What Blinq brings to the table is a new focus on social media marketing: running Facebook campaigns, gathering metrics, optimizing for better engagement.">

This AdWeek report advises that the deal.< brings to Gannett one of the top third-party Facebook ad-buying platforms, which the company can now bring to small- and medium-sized businesses at the local level.

From Gannett's point of view, the newspaper giant brings Blinq that local scale...."We think that our contacts and our customer relationships through ShopLocal, which basically deals with all of the top retailers in the United States, our contacts at Gannett Digital Marketing Services as well as our national sales forces at USA Today and Gannett can greatly extend Blinq's reach ....and Blinq's ability to sell against those ad agencies and those major customers," Gannett's Williams [John A. Williams, president of Gannett Digital Ventures], said.>

This is a huge deal (ultimately), for Gannett.

To consolidate my own 'ongoing' thought-line here on my instablog, the article advises of a critical point-and a likely testing through Looksmart to ensure or, can provide 'separation' & protect Facebook's user data:

"The reinforcement [via Facebook] couldn't have been more positive" Vikram Sharma, president and CEO of Gannett Digital Marketing Services said. Helping matters more, is that Blinq was identified as one of only a few partners Facebook involves in testing new ad products and capabilities.>

In a post back on the 14th of June I had made my abovementioned Blinq-Looksmart-Facebook POV and that a mention of Google's DoubleClick Bid Manager as being locked out of Facebook's Exchange does support my own belief that (initially) these 8 or, so DSPs will have the need to 'bed' both themselves & most importantly their advertisers into the Facebook scenario in the buying of eCPM type Facebook inventory, only. And at massive, available scale.

The ensuring (next) step to follow from there is to be given full access in/across the total (Looksmart's) OPEN marketplace. Is only, my opinion.

The sale of Looksmart own ad network

(Bearing in mind that Looksmart- with $20.2M in cash - Closed today with a market cap that represents an EV 'worth' of just $16.95M !)
In view of the 'ball-park' ($40M to $90M) cost of Blinq to Gannett, what can Looksmart shareholders expect (in return) for a sale of Looksmarts own ad network, that has almost been made redundant while all this is going on?

The question was posted here as being news of a highly-likely sale of LookSmart own ad Network-ensuring the Co's independence-that's yet to come. - One that will be giving a/the 'acquirer' a fully operational (working) network. And one that can be so easily 'merged' into an/any existing ad network a buyer may have-but most importantly, there's that automatic 'seat at the table' (in this pending global marketplace!)

....."With access to - all the majority of exchange inventory" - plus, as can be expected [and like Gannett, with Blinq],there's Facebook, for the purchaser's own advertisers/publishers to access/be accessed in a one marketplace!.

Never a dull moment waiting for that day to come along. Readers can be assured that there'll no doubt be a number of "Old Media Buyers" who will already be 'lining up' to buy into some "New Media" action.

LOOK: $0.99 Down 0.01 (-1.00%) 3:58PM EDT

Always, just an opinion.


Disclosure: Long LOOK


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