Street Fight Daily: Digital Ads Up, Yahoo Local Under the Axe

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

Digital Advertising Surged 22 Percent in 2011, to $31B (PaidContent)
Driven by strong growth in the search and display sectors, U.S. digital advertising revenue expanded by 22 percent in 2011, reaching a record $31 billion according to a report prepared by Price Waterhouse Coopers U.S. and released Wednesday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

What’s Next for LivingSocial? (Fortune)
LivingSocial and its competitors have many loyal customers, but there have been reports of unhappy merchants and questions about their business model’s viability. CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy discusses the company’s rapid expansion, criticism of the market, why they killed their LivingSocial Instant business, and what’s to come.

Will Yahoo Local Get the Axe? (ScreenWerk)
Greg Sterling: Once upon a time Yahoo Local was a highly innovative and leading local search property. But that was a long time ago now. Years of neglect and underinvestment have greatly diminished the site. New CEO Scott Thompson said that as many as 50 Yahoo sites/products are potentially on the chopping block, in an effort to restore focus to the company. Rumor has it that Yahoo Local may well be one of the soon-to-be-shuttered sites.

Banjo Hits 1 Million Users, Signaling Mainstream Interest in Social Location Apps (PC World)
The mobile app Banjo hit a million users this week, suggesting that a new crop of location-based social apps may become popular with mainstream users despite their privacy concerns. Banjo pools shared information from several social networks — including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare — and sorts it by location.

Gaopeng, Groupon’s Flagging Effort in China, May Be Headed For a Merger (TechCrunch)
Gaopeng, a joint venture between Groupon and Tencent, may be headed for a merger by the end of next month with FTuan. Notably, FTuan is a rival Chinese daily deal service that Groupon’s local partner Tencent invested in. If such a deal happened, it would underscore Tencent’s increasing control over the venture and Groupon’s retreat in China.

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