Street Fight Daily: Gannett Paywall Pays Off, AOL Sunsets

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

Gannett_LogoThe Case for Paywalls: Gannett Gains While Digital First Experiments (Poynter)
Gannett’s fourth quarter earnings report this week put to rest the idea that digital paid subscriptions will only work for the biggest newspaper organizations like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. They are proving a spectacular success at the company’s diverse collection of 80 community newspapers.

Channeling Starbucks, FiveStars Seeks Loyalty in the Form of a Gift Card (Street Fight)
The Mountain View, Calif., company is launching a new gift card product aimed at helping businesses transform new customers into returning customers through its POS-integrated loyalty platform. The company has piloted a co-branded gift card with a handful of small retail chains since December, and plans to open the feature to its smaller merchants with the release.

More Change At AOL: Photosharing App Is Shutting Down (TechCrunch)
Another change afoot at AOL today:, a hyperlocal photosharing app AOL acquired in March 2012, is shutting down. According to the email, the shutdown was due to a number of reasons including the state of the “photosharing landscape,” financial considerations and the growth of the site.

Why Mom-and-Pops Will No Longer Pay for ‘Social Media Management’ (Street Fight)
Julie Brooks: The social media hype bubble has burst, and most very small businesses have not realized their ROI in social media. They’re not willing to pay my company — or anyone else — hundreds of dollars a month to market their company on Facebook or Twitter. Instead they are diverting those dollars to pay per click options, SEO, optimizing their websites for conversion and mobile, or targeted local media advertising.

PayPal Destroys Google Wallet, MasterCard, Square, and Visa in Digital Wallet Study (VentureBeat)
According to a new ComScore survey, no digital wallet vendor besides PayPal has even 50 percent awareness. Forty-one percent of Internet-using Americans have heard of Google Wallet, but only 13 percent know about MasterCard’s PayPass wallet, and even fewer know about Square’s, Visa’s, or other vendors’ solutions.

Survey-Based ‘Paywalls’ May Not Be as Good as They Sound for Local Media (Street Fight)
Matt Sokoloff: While surveys may be a good source of revenue, it’s not a long-term solution for local news sites: There is an inherent supply-and-demand issue — not very different from the one that arises with online display ads. As more and more publishers adopt Google Consumer Surveys, Google can begin dropping its publisher payout because it has enough supply.

We Got An Exclusive Look At ’90s Icon Citysearch’s Mobile Comeback Strategy (Business Insider)
Citysearch, once synonymous with local reviews in the ’90s, is battling back against the upstarts with its refreshed iPhone app. Its modern, mobile incarnation still emphasizes tips from its expert “scouts” rather than crowdsourced recommendations from customers, like you’d find on Yelp or Foursquare, though those are also present.

Google Patent Granted on Mobile Location Detection (SEO by the Sea)
Google was granted a patent on the use of both GPS and MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) sensors from electrical devices such as acceleration detector reading and a gyroscope reading, along with algorithms based upon such readings, to get a much more accurate indication of where someone is located. The cost in terms of electrical consumption is a lot lower, which is a good thing for battery operated devices.

Connecting Hyperlocal Efforts With Universal Brand Message (MediaPost)
A more connected marketplace has made consumers and sports fans smarter and more sophisticated than ever before. This means there is a need to focus on building local relationships, regardless the size of your brand. Yet, what can brands do to avoid losing sight of the big picture and risk appearing too fragmented?

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