RealTime IT News

ValueClick Snaps Up E-mail Signup Network

Pay-for-performance ad network ValueClick aims to boost its customer acquisition offerings through the acquisition of Z Media, Inc., the company said Monday.

ValueClick is paying shareholders of Redwood City, Calif.-based Z Media about 2.7 million shares of VCLK, valued at about $11.7 million at the time of the agreement's signing.

The Westlake Village, Calif.-based company's acquisition of Z Media will add what it calls "co-registration" capabilities to its own advertising offerings.

Using Z Media's technology, Web publishers enable their visitors to register for special offers or e-mail newsletters. Visitors to one of the roughly 4,000 sites in Z Media's network see a page of offers and e-mail newsletters, and check the ones they wish to receive.

ValueClick said the move would enable it to offer more ways for Web publishers to monetize their traffic, and additional customer acquisition tools to advertisers, who gain single- and double-opt-in e-mail lists.

"Z Media's successful co-registration model adds a potent new weapon to ValueClick's arsenal of reliable, targeted and cost-effective solutions for both marketers and publishers," said ValueClick chairman and chief executive officer Jim Zarley.

ValueClick also expects that Z Media, which is profitable, will boost its own bottom line. Both companies saw positive cashflow during third quarter, and, as a combined entity, ValueClick expects to hit operational profitability in the first half of 2001; Z Media is already operationally profitable.

Monday's news is also the latest in a series of ValueClick efforts to beef up its product offerings. In recent months, it has acquired CPA ad networks onResponse.com and ClickAgents.com, as well as traffic analysis firm StraightUp!. It also recently rolled out an e-mail marketing product, and a wireless ad network in Japan, on i-Mode-compatible phones.

"These are challenging times for the online advertising industry," said Z Media CEO Alan Stein, who will hold the title of Z Media president following the acquisition. "Marketers ... are now demanding reliability and accountability as mandatory requirements for their online advertising efforts. At the same time, they also want a variety of different approaches to achieve online advertising success."