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Advertising data service Lookery has announced the launch of an ad optimization service today. The name of the system is the Lookery Ad Controller and after you enter all of the ad tags for your networks, Lookery generates a universal ad tag for use on your website or blog. The universal ad tag will display the best ad based on your set of networks. The big push with the Lookery Ad Controller is that it will generate more data about your audience which will tie into the other data and analytical services that Lookery provides.
The service seems similar to other ad optimization services including PubMatic and Rubicon without the ad network plugin. With the Lookery Ad Controller, you control which ads are displayed along with geolocation help from Lookery. Pubmatic and Rubicon decide which ads from your networks (and their partnerships) should be displayed based on a number of factors.
With online ad dollars and budgets potentially being reduced, ad optimization services become more important as publishers want to display the best ads that produce the best revenue. My suggestion is to test a few of the services, give them several months to create the best pattern for your network and then compare to find the best service for your network.
Back in November, Lookery sold the ad network portion of their business to AdKnowledge.
AdKnowledge has announced the acquisition of Lookery today. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Only the Lookery ad network has been acquired by AdKnowledge, the data network portion will remain with Lookery.
From the AdKnowledge publisher blog, "Lookery has been seeking a company to acquire its ad serving business that is able to both provide you with the same or higher payouts that you are currently receiving and provide the same level of service that you have come to expect from Lookery." AdKnowledge acquired Facebook developer ad network Cubics last year.
The Lookery Guaranteed CPM program will continue within the Cubics network for those publishers who are enrolled. AdKnowledge self-reports over 10 billion social advertising impressions per month.
Found via the Facebook developer forum. There’s also more information about the acquisition on the Cubics/AdKnowledge Publisher blog.
Ad network Lookery is reporting that in the first 14 days of April they served a billion ad impressions in their network. It took the full month of March to hit the one billion impression mark. Rex Dixon of Lookery noted, "Even with one less day for the month of April, we feel very confident that we will be passing some major milestones this month."
From what I can tell in their publisher gallery, a good percentage of the Facebook apps listed are from outside the U.S. I’d like to see some advertising examples from Lookery, so far all I’ve seen is an activity feed on their home page.
You might remember Lookery from their many angel funding posts and check out our interview with Founder Scott Rafer. Jay Meattle from Compete also joined the Lookery team last month.
Lookery CEO Scott Rafer swore on a stack of Facebook invites that he was done raising funds in his angel round. But tonight we learn that he isn’t done just yet. We covered the initial batch and then the next batch earlier this month.
Lookery has added "another couple hundred thousand" from the following investors:
- Marc Benioff – SalesForce Chairman and CEO
- Tom Cole
- Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn Founder
- Jonathan Miller
- Allen Morgan
Scott, we are hip to your "marketing technique" of getting blog posts by slowly pushing out investor names!
Finally ad network Lookery has finished their angel round of funding. For a while there, we received weekly updates on this guy or that girl being added to the roster of angels. I can’t even name them all here as it would take the better part of tonight and Lost is on at 9pm. Check the Lookery blog for all of the related posts (it spans the first two pages). We initially covered the first batch of angels back on November 3.
CEO Rafer said today, "This financing will total ~$900k, and we’re now in the market for two more engineers and a product manager in Boston (near Dave) and one business development person in San Francisco (near me) or Seattle (near Todd). Please hit jobs [at] lookery.com if you’d be great and can work well while laughing frequently at our internal chat streams. Our current plan is to start looking for for an institutional round in late April after we’ve hit a few more milestones."
In all seriousness, congrats to the team. Looking forward to seeing what Lookery can do with the loot.
Lookery, the remnant advertising program for your Facebook 3rd party applications, has announced their angel funders along with a real-time feed and teased an upcoming API. First up, the funders. Scott Rafer notes that he doesn’t usually like to share funding info but has done so for several reasons which you can read about on the Lookery blog. The funders are:
- Ted Dintersmith (blog), acting as an individual not as part of CRV (Charles River Ventures)
- Maurice Werdegar
- Roger Ehrenberg, who is also an angel investor in Mashery (another Scott Rafer startup).
Next up is the real-time feed. This is quite interesting – the idea is to show a "real time live view of the traffic on the network". I’ve never seen this before but it’s an interesting and innovative marketing tactic. I guess this can only work while the network is small? Otherwise the backup for the feed will become overwhelming. Also, what in the heck is this that I found in the feed upon launch? Should this feed be scrubbed as this is the official corporate home page?
Lastly, Rex noted that an API for "contributing profiles" will be available next week during their promotion at ad:tech (why am I going to Vegas when everything is happening here?!?!) Check out our interview with Lookery founder Scott Rafer from last month.
Companies offering advertising for 3rd party Facebook applications is hot. Last week I spoke with VideoEgg about their Facebook ad solution and today I spoke with one of the newest players in this market, Lookery. Lookery is founded by Scott Rafer, former CEO of MyBlogLog. To learn more about Lookery (both for the Web and for Facebook), I poked Scott for an interview and our discussion is below.
Allen: What is Lookery?
Scott: Lookery for the Web (our new service) is an ad network that fixes the economic problem of social networks: great user profiling and so-so inventory for advertisers. We make it safe and easy for social networks to distribute their data as targeting information outside their sites, in order to make money on web sites that have great inventory and little or no targeting information.
Allen: Why Facebook?
Scott: We got started with Lookery for Facebook because I kept hearing from people that they wanted to buy and/or publish traditional marketing campaigns in Facebook apps. We saw demand and just went for it.
Allen: Can you explain what Lookery for the Web and Lookery for Facebook is, and what are the differences?
Scott: Lookery for Facebook is a traditional display advertising network that runs exclusively on Facebook applications. Like all other Facebook-only networks, we exist at Facebook’s whim. We’ll do very well by our Facebook application publishers as long as they let us, but they have a lot more data than we do to run a network on their site. Lookery for the Web is a service in which we’re building a unique market position, building out revenue programs for content publishers and sharing back to social networks. Bridging across networks lets us add more value and more unique value.
Allen: How does Lookery for the Web compare to other similar services that will be launching soon, ie.. Google’s new rumored service?
Scott: I’m still waiting for GDrive, so it’s tough to comment. The critical issue for us is that user anonymity is strictly maintained and that our services are easy to sell. The vast detail underlying behavioral advertising both requires very sophisticated advertising buyers and puts user privacy at grave risk. We’re sticking solely to Age, Sex, and Location in order to provide concrete value to marketers while holding no data that puts users at risk.
Allen: How does the service work?
Scott: It’s a big third-party cookie system with APIs for adding profile info and for using demographic targeting.
Allen: Are the ads across Facebook or only within the apps that 3rd party developers create?
Scott: Only in the 3rd party apps.
Allen: How large is the Facebook advertising market pegged to be?
Scott: Third-party application traffic is easier to talk about. It seems to be a few billion pages a day, about 10% of Facebook’s total. The apps should generate a tenth of Facebook’s revenue as they become a fifth of its traffic over time.
Allen: What pricing models work with Lookery?
Scott: We optimize for eCPM, using whatever models we can to maximize it.
Allen: Who are your competitors?
Scott: It’s not clear how we stack up against the behavioral networking players for our web advertising. That’s a field rife with co-opetition, which we’ll likely be part of in the normal way. The only competitor anyone should consider on Facebook is Facebook themselves. If they decide to be an ad network directly (instead of a tax), they’ll win. Until that’s resolved, nothing else matters.
Allen: I met with VideoEgg last week and discussed their Facebook ad platform for app developers – how does Looker compare to VideoEgg’s offering?
Scott: Publishers manage their advertising as a pyramid. A small number of very valuable ads at the top and a large number of "remnant" ads at the bottom. The VE guys are doing a beautiful job of taking over the top, and we’re trying to raise people’s expectations about the bottom.
Allen: Can you speak about the analytics/reporting behind Lookery?
Scott: To date, it’s nothing exciting. With Dave Cancel’s background as founder/CTO of compete.com and my experience at MyBlogLog, we’re looking to change that.
Allen: What’s the team makeup? Funded/unfunded?
Scott: There’s three fulltimers (Dave Cancel, Rex Dixon, and me) plus some contractors including Todd Sawicki. There’s some angel funding coming in, though it’s not the focus yet.
Allen: What’s coming in the next 3 months for Lookery?
Scott: Getting Lookery for the Web to critical mass. Please drop our JS on CenterNetworks if you get the chance.
Thanks for your time Scott!