A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
New Report: Local Newspapers Have Done a Terrible Job Building Local Digital Audiences (NiemanLab)
The plight of the local American newspaper is well known at this point: Circulation is shrinking, print ad revenue is shrinking, and papers haven’t been able to make up the difference digitally. But a new paper says newspapers are far worse off digitally than most people think.
LivingSocial Sells Off Australian Assets, Looks to ‘Refound’ Its Core Business (Street Fight)
LivingSocial finally has something that Groupon, its long-time competitor, has had for some time: cash — and lots of it. The struggling daily deals company has sold off nearly all of its international assets to create a nest egg for the “refounding” of the firm under new chief executive Gautam Thakar.
As Bill Gates Promised, Microsoft Will Soon Have Its Own Apple Pay Alternative (Business Insider)
Microsoft is getting closer to having its own competitor to Apple Pay. With a bit of sleuthing, banking consultant Faisal Khan, found evidence that Microsoft has already received approval from one state to fire up a payments transfer service: Idaho. But it’s applied for licenses for transmitting money in all 50 states.
Like Other Local Services Marketplaces, Amazon Will Have to Balance Competing Interests (Street Fight)
Manpreet Singh: Anyone in the local services industry could be forgiven for worrying about Amazon as an intimidating competitor. But for all of Amazon’s Goliath brand dominance in retail, it faces the same complex challenges that the rest of us face when it comes to the services industry.
SMBs Put Their Money Where Success Is: Website (eMarketer)
Small-business websites boost customer engagement, and a January 2015 study by Thrive Analytics found that US small and medium-sized businesses were seeing more success with the channel than any other. This was ahead of both social media and print yellow pages—and blew all other channels out of the water by 30 points or more.
The Latest Controversies Surrounding Yelp (Fortune)
In addition to making headlines for these complaints, fake reviews, and the odd time it served a restaurant’s postmortem, Yelp regularly makes the news indirectly — when it’s used as a platform for outrage. Here are five such incidents from the past eight months.
Uber’s Next Battleground: New York City (Fox Business)
The next battleground over the controversial Uber car service is also likely to be the biggest: New York City. Melrose Credit Union, the city’s biggest financier of taxi licenses, or “medallions,” has threatened Mayor Bill de Blasio with a multi-billion dollar lawsuit unless the ride-sharing company begins to comply with the city’s taxi laws.
Google Wallet Lands in ChowNow to Bring Mobile Payments to Thousands of Small Restaurants (Venture Beat)
ChowNow has revealed a tie-up with Google that will see its mobile Google Wallet payment system made available to thousands of independent eateries across the U.S. With Google Wallet now in tow, ChowNow gives its existing clients additional payment and promotion functionality.
Mobile Readiness Now Essential for Local Business Success (Huffington Post)
Sharon Rowlands: Local businesses can and should add mobile to their marketing mix in order to capture consumers’ interest at all stages in the purchasing process. And, they should consider new mobile marketing technologies, which give them the tools needed to reach consumers in highly-focused ways that weren’t previously possible.