Ask Makes a Run For It (In a good way)

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LookSmart advertisers will want to pay attention here.

According to an SEC filing, Ask.com is not renewing its contract with LookSmart wherein ASK/IAC displayed LookSmart advertiser listings. The partnership between the two companies began in May 2005 but will expire on December 31, 2009.

It is safe to assume that Ask.com is making a run for it (in a good way) by starting to look at other advertising partnership. The company might even explore ways to monetize its relatively popular search platform much the same way they did with the recent total skinning of the site to promote the upcoming Night at the Museum movie.

We're not talking about chump change in terms of search market share (Compete had Ask at 2.4% in December 2008) so expect everyone to be pitching the company in the coming weeks and months.



Revenue from Ask Sponsored Listings revenue generated 89% of LookSmart's Company Publisher Solutions revenue in Q1 2009 alone. That a big problem for Looksmart who will be actively looking for replacement partnerships. It is unlikely that LookSmart can sustain itself as a consumer property with a little over 500K unique visitors (according to Compete).

If you were Looksmart how would you bounce back?


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