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The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. Name: Shoptiques
Noted journalist Bob Garfield is the author of The Chaos Scenario, a 2009 book about the collapse of traditional media. Garfield was recently interviewed by Peter Conti, EVP of Borrell Associates, an advertising and media industry research and consulting firm. (Garfield will be presenting the … Continue reading When I first conceived of this blog I had intended to write about the remarkable technical work that rocketed DNAinfo.com, the hyperlocal Manhattan news site, from 0 to 1.2 million visitors/month in about 18 months–something of a record in a … Continue reading <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
With over 600 companies currently in the daily deals space in the U.S., industry consolidation is bound to occur — with larger companies buying up smaller rivals while other competitors go belly up. Given Groupon’s and LivingSocial’s ongoing acquisition spree and the departures of Facebook and Yelp from the deals game, it seems like this consolidation is already beginning to happen. To find out more about what to expect in the deals space, Street Fight recently spoke with two industry watchers from local media adviser BIA/Kelsey, vice president Peter Krasilovsky and economist Mark Fratrik.
In 2011, we saw the explosion — and the beginnings of the implosion — of the deals industry with the shrinking, and even folding, of several companies. The most shocking example of this was the crippling of BuyWithMe, which showed that the market wasn’t mature enough for a deals company to sustain such an aggressive roll-up strategy when it was forced to slash its staff in half and continually needed more cash and couldn’t interest any investors to participate in another round. Others in the deals space disappeared altogether — particularly in the Chicago market, where Groupon towers over other deal hopefuls.
What was once just a job for journalists employed by a news agency has made its way into the hands of individuals who do not have a formal journalism background. Many individuals are contributing through writing stories, uploading photos, or submitting other community events. This phenomenon has even been picked up on by major media outlets: CNN’s iReport being a prime example. Users are especially encouraged to use their mobile devices for sending in content to CNN and other major media companies. With so many smart phones out there many people are perfectly equipped to share content.
Media analyst Bob Garfield has put a voice behind the industry rumblings about hyperlocal news ventures. As standalone business operations, hyperlocal news “just doesn’t make for a sustainable financial model,” Garfield said in a recent video interview with Borrell Associates. Garfield, author and host of NPR’s “On the Media,” thinks hyperlocal news coverage is doomed because of the incredible fragmentation and its downward pressure on advertising prices. The YouTube video interview was with Borrell Associates executive vice president Peter Conti. In it, Garfield says he thinks that the winner in every market will likely be the entity that forms strategic relationships for content and revenue in its market.
Customer lists, brand names, and social media accounts are valuable assets for hyperlocal news publishers, and they should be protected like money. PhoneDog, LLC is battling former contributor Noah Kravitz in a San Francisco Federal Court after Kravitz left PhoneDog and used a Twitter account provided by PhoneDog to promote his new endeavors to PhoneDog’s followers. Last week, the dispute over PhoneDog’s property claim in its followers heated up when a magistrate judge refused to throw out the suit. PhoneDog provides reviews of mobile products, which includes research information and price comparisons. The company claims it attracts about 1.5 million visitors per month.
Ah, the allure of the Big City. PlaceIQ , a hyper-local ad targeting startup from Boulder, Colorado is moving to New York City, flush with $4.2 million in series A funding. New investors include U.S. Venture Partners and Valhalla Partners. Existing investors IA Ventures, kbs+p ventures, and angel investor Jerry Neumann also invested in the round. PlaceIQ breaks up the world into 100 million tiles and gathers as much location data about each tile so that it can infer what people in those locations might be interested in at different times of day.
Shane Snow is a Mashable contributor and the co-founder of Contently.com . Do you think there's a lot of data on the Internet? Imagine how much there is in the offline world: 510 million square kilometers of land, 6.79 billion people, 18 million kilometers of paved roads, and countless objects inhabit the Earth. The most exciting thing about all this data?
Unlike most startups, Yext makes money. After launching in 2009, the New York-based company soon sacked an already lucrative pay-per-call and pay-per-action business to build its Power Listings product, which allows businesses to update and alter listings across multiple sites – among others, Super Pages , Yelp , City Search , Map Quest , and Yahoo Local — through a single portal. In July, Yext raised $10 Million in series D funding to power the new venture and has since amassed a massive customer base, onboarding over 40,000 paying subscribers in a little over a year after the launch. In December, the company updated its listings sync tool with new multi-media capabilities as well as new partnerships with a handful of hyperlocal publishers , including foursquare , EZLocal , and AOL’s Patch . Street Fight caught up with the company’s CEO, Howard Lerman, to take a deep dive into the business of local information and to talk about which hyperlocal companies he sees coming out on top.