Alt-weekly publisher Voice Media Group has announced a partnership with Foursquare that will make event content from VMG’s Voice Places initiative available to users of the location-based app. While the two companies have worked together in the past on smaller endeavors, this represents a much tighter relationship.
“This was a natural next step in terms of combining our curated local content with the experience that they provide around location and events,” Scott Tobias, CEO of Voice Media Group, told Street Fight yesterday.
Jonathan Crowley, director of Media Partnerships at Foursquare, explained the benefits for the check-in company in a release: “Foursquare is all about making the most of where you are, so we are always looking to partner with top publishers to provide interesting and relevant content on a city’s history, culture, and events. Our partnership with Voice Media Group will help bring expert local content to the nearly 30 million people in the Foursquare community.”
The partnership rolls out first in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, and seven other major markets in which the VMG has a presence. But that’s only the beginning. “We are building out Voice Places to be in the top 30 to 35 markets in the U.S.,” Tobias told us. The goal of the partnership is “kind of twofold, ” he added. “It’s the great content that we have around events and locations nationwide, and it’s really showcasing the Voice Places segment of our businesses,” Tobias continued. As Places expands, VMG plans to start adding its content to those cites as well.
Foursquare users can earn badges like the Houston Press badge or the Westword badge when they check in. They will also have access to the “Best of” content written by VMG editors. In the future, there might even be discounts or other rewards for earning badges, checking in, or checking out the content. “Right now, we want to reward users for triggering off our content. But as we move forward we will be taking a look at how it develops and what makes the most sense as we grow together,” Tobias said.
Tobias said he isn’t worried about recent reports that Foursquare is struggling to raise another round of capital. “I’m not concerned about that in the least,” he said.
Noah Davis is a senior editor at Street Fight.