Street Fight Daily: Apple & Google Face Off, Patch Predicts Profit

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

Apple and Google Go Head to Head Over Mobile Maps (NYT)
Last week, though, Apple gave notice it would enter the battle, announcing that in the fall, its phones would no longer carry Google maps, but instead would have Apple’s own map service built in, part of its new mobile operating system. Maps are simply too important to be left to a rival. The question is: Can Apple build a map service that does as good a job, or a better one, than Google has?

Patch’s Webster Predicts Profit in Late 2013 (NetNewsCheck)
Webster said that potential signs of distress, such as high-level departures and the possibility of internal AOL conflict with the HuffingtonPost, have been mischaracterized. He said that hyperlocal is still a viable business, but downplayed the 2012 election as the single-biggest game changer that Patch once touted to define the brand.

Rob Curley Joins Orange County Register(JimRomenesko)
“New media guru” Rob Curley, who recently stepped down as Las Vegas Sun chief content officer, is joining the Orange County Register “to help strengthen our journalism and deepen the relationship with our community,” says a memo to OCR employees.

Here’s a Sign Merchants are Starting to Really Like Groupon (Yipit Blog)
In Q3 2011, 84% of merchants Groupon featured had never run a deal on the site before. This number dropped to 70% in Q4 2011, and fell even further to 59% in Q1 of this year. Conversely, the number of repeat merchants is on the rise, now representing upwards of 40% of Groupon’s total merchants.

The Hard Truth: Newspaper Monopolies are Gone Forever (GigaOm)
Matthew Ingram: As newspaper companies like Advance Publications attempt to wean themselves away from a reliance on print — a transition that almost every mainstream publisher will likely have to emulate at some point — the full implications of this disruption are starting to become obvious. Many newspapers also seem to have forgotten what business they are actually in, and that misunderstanding goes a long way towards explaining the rush to implement monopoly-style features like paywalls.

Driving Loyalty: Offers Provider Bloomspot Reports 72% Customer Repeat Rate (Techcrunch)
Bloomspot, a local offers company launched back in 2010, is pulling back the proverbial kimono on its numbers in an effort to prove its business model works. Using its anonymized data, the company now says that 72% of its customers who purchase offers from its partners become repeat customers of that business and spend an average of nearly $140 above the price of the offer they purchase.

Does Apple’s Passbook Make Cents (All Things D)
In many ways, the iPhone is already a wallet. But this week, Apple officially announced its first steps into the payments space with Passbook, an application that electronically stores loyalty cards, gift cards, boarding passes, electronic movie tickets, coupons and more on the phone.

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