Separate, Yet Together: IAC Creates Ad Network With Its Split Businesses

After all the trouble of breaking apart IAC (NSDQ: IACI) into five separate, publicly-traded entities, the ties between the companies will remain as part of an ad network, AdAge reports. The hope is that IAC will be able to see its current CPMs rise from an average of $1.50 to around $6 or $7 by selling ads across the 63 companies within the five business units, including urban guide CitySearch, time-share business Interval International, shopping channel HSN and Ticketmaster.

Not siblings, but cousins: While these businesses have little to do with each other in terms offering content verticals, there is one unifying aspect: the affluent users they attract. As IAC Advertising Solutions President Rich Stalzer, who handles Ticketmaster, LendingTree and HSN, says, “Maybe we’re not brothers and sisters, but we’re cousins.” He added that by combining the inventory on those sites, along with the 57 million monthly uniques, the company a top 10 player in terms of web ads. In Q1, roughly half of IAC’s $392 million revenue — $216 million — came from media and ad revenue, primarily from Ask’s search-ad deal with Google (NSDQ: GOOG). The ad network its cobbling together has prompted some industry observers to compare it to what Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has done with its internet properties. That, in turn, has led to the inevitable speculation that the Redmond software giant could be looking at IAC as a potential acquisition target, though IAC has declined to touch that one.