A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Amazon Travel Launches New Brand, Amazon Destinations (Skift)
Amazon pulled the trigger and has quietly launched its much-awaited new hotel product and brand, Amazon Destinations. The revamped hotel product emphasizes weekend getaways within driving distance from major metropolitan areas and includes published rate hotels, and not merely the steep discounts that Amazon has been offering through Amazon Local for several years.
The Secret to Success in Local: Saying No (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Sometimes, openness and opportunism lead to success for startups. But more often than not, it’s as much about the opportunities a company declines than than those it pursues, that determines whether a company succeeds or fails. That’s particularly true in a local marketing industry where timing and distribution can be as important as the product itself.
Facebook Is Making 3 Big Changes To Its Newsfeed Algorithm (Business Insider)
For the past year and a half, a number of publishers and Facebook page owners have benefitted from a surge of traffic sent to them by the social network. But publishers have also known that the flood of traffic may not last, and Facebook says it’s making three big changes to its NewsFeed algorithm that could mean these traffic glory days may soon be over soon.
ARLnow Flips Bethesda Site, Expands Big Into Center of D.C. (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The independent community news network that has been busy expanding in the shadow of the Washington Post – has just executed some eye-grabbing moves. It 1.) sold its Bethesda Now site in suburban Maryland, 2.) bought a dormant three-neighborhood site in the District of Columbia and 3,) will resurrect and expand its acquisition.
$47B of Local Ads Programmatic by 2019 (NetNewsCheck)
A new report on programmatic advertising by Borrell Associates finds that 10% of all locally-placed digital advertising will go through automated networks this year. Borrell expects most targeted banners and streaming video ads will be bought and sold via programmatic in five years, making for tenfold growth in the dollar volume with a compound annual growth rate of 93.5%.
Yodle CEO: Investors’ Appetite for IPOs Seems Strong (New York Business Journal)
Local marketing software maker Yodle has been waiting for the right moment to go public after filing registration papers with the SEC nine months ago. And the timing appears to be better, CEO Court Cunningham said today, while stopping short of disclosing any specific plans.
Marchex Sells 200k Domains to GoDaddy for $34.8m, Shifts Focus to Mobile Advertising (GeekWire)
The Seattle-based company today announced a $34.8 million sale of more than 200,000 domains to GoDaddy as it turns its attention to mobile advertising analytics. That money was used in part to help develop its mobile advertising analytics platform, which now generates more than $100 million in revenue each year.
Look Who’s All Grown Up Now — Groupon (Crain’s Chicago Business)
Joe Cahill: Conservative. Mature. Focused. None of these adjectives applied to Groupon during its swift rise to tech industry stardom and sharp plunge into Wall Street ignominy after an overhyped IPO revealed the Chicago-based digital commerce company’s financial shortcomings.
Zomato Buys NexTable to Rival OpenTable and Yelp in Reservations (TechCrunch)
Just one week after Zomato raised a round valuing it at more than $1 billion and acquired a point-of-sale startup, the India-based restaurant services company has made another acquisition. Zomato has acquired NexTable, a U.S.-based restaurant reservations and table-management platform that competes against the likes of Priceline’s OpenTable and SeatMe from Yelp.