A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
LivingSocial Sales Slip Further (Wall Street Journal)
LivingSocial reported a 40% drop in first-quarter revenue as the company works through a cost-cutting restructuring to counter tepid demand for daily deals. Once on a fast track to an initial public offering, LivingSocial has pared back on ambitious projects like producing live events and has closed office space in its home city of Washington and elsewhere.
In a Post-Patch Era, Local Media Watchers Pin Hopes on Smaller Operations (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: With a number of once-promising projects laying in ruin, local media’s star has faded a bit over the past year, causing many industry watchers to frame local journalism as a pursuit defined by a social need, and burdened by an unfriendly market reality.
Few Consumers Are Buying Premise of Mobile Wallets (New York Times)
The hurdles have left all the payment companies scrambling to find the code for a profitable business model. And now, a feeling is growing that mobile payments systems will not replace traditional wallets, at least anytime soon.
Report: Local Media Ad Revs Will Climb to $158.6B By 2018 (Street Fight)
Local media ad revenues are set to increase 19% by 2018, according to new figures released by BIA/Kelsey, climbing from $133.2 billion in 2013 to $158.6 billion in 2018. The compound annual growth rate of 3.6% represents faster growth than previously expected, strengthened by political and Olympic advertising.
Newspaper Companies Make Another Big Investment in a Circular Startup (Street Fight)
Newspaper companies have invested another $15 million in Wanderful Media, a service that digitizes and distributes the millions of merchandizing ads that go out every weekend in local papers across the United States. The deal highlights the newspaper industry’s struggle to find an answer to a depreciating revenues after technology companies have picked off many of its valuable assets.
Airbnb Wants to Be a Travel Agent (Wall Street Journal)
People who opened the apartment-sharing company’s mobile app in San Francisco on Thursday found something new: recommendations for rentals around Lake Tahoe and other nearby getaways. Surabhi Gupta, an Airbnb software engineer, said the feature is part of an effort by company to play a bigger role in “discovery” – helping people plan vacations and find new destinations.
Facebook’s Mobile Ad Network Is Called “Facebook Audience Network” And Here’s How It Works (TechCrunch)
Next week at f8, Facebook will unveil Facebook Audience Network, its mobile ad network that will let developers target both standard banners and custom ad units with Facebook’s vast trove of personal data. It could let developers monetize, advertisers buy more mobile impressions than News Feed can fit, and Facebook earn money without cluttering its own apps with more ads.
Fill the Pantry, Skip the Line (New York Times)
The newest way to skip the trip to the supermarket is by using Instacart, a same-day grocery-delivery app. Unlike Taskrabbit, another courier service, Instacart delivers only groceries. More than that, though, the service actually pulls your items from the shelves.
Will Locomobi be the Uber of Parking (Fast Company)
QuickPay has acquired another parking innovator, Nautical Tech Solutions, led by Grant Furlane. They are joining forces under a new brand, LocoMobi, and have aspirations to become what they call the “Uber of parking.” Furlane will be CEO, while Pell stays on as chairman and chief strategy officer.
Google Brings Its Hotel And Restaurant Search To Android (TechCrunch)
Google is adding a deeper integration of its hotel and restaurant search to Google Search on Android. The integration that allows you to type or speak queries like “show me hotels in San Francisco,” and the search results page will indeed return a list of hotels.