A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
AOL Is Combining All of Its Publisher Products (Business Insider)
AOL is merging its publishing products into one platform, offering an alternative to the walled garden approach of Google and Facebook. Publishers will be able to opt in to specific technologies on the service, rather than being “locked in an all-or-nothing,” the company said. The new platform will focus on mobile and video products.
As Local Search Behavior Evolves, Marketing Spending Will Follow (Street Fight)
David Card: Merchants and marketers have to be findable and present useful information regardless of a searcher’s context. That’s where the mechanics of local search marketing get messy. It feels like a great opportunity for tools and managed services that help break down those silos, and measure effectiveness across or between them.
Why Uber’s Rushing Into Deliveries Could Reap $24.6B Internationally (Forbes)
Roger Aitken: Uber is now on the verge of expanding its tentacles to delivering shopping in the U.K., something the company has already rolled out in a few U.S. cities – New York, Chicago, and San Francisco – with its UberRUSH network. An industry report from ParcelHero, the courier price comparison site and broker that partners with UPS, reveals an insider analysis of Uber’s international ambitions.
For Some Sprint Customers, Watching Ads Cuts Phone Bill (Wall Street Journal)
Some Sprint customers will soon be able to get discounted bills in exchange for more ads on their phones, providing Sprint an opportunity to experiment with a new model of mobile advertising. Customers who choose to download an app will be shown ads that cover their home screens after they unlock their phones. They can dismiss the ads by pressing a button to indicate whether they like or dislike the content, or they can click on the ad to engage directly with the brand. (Subscription required)
It’s Been a Long Slog, but Digital News Publishers Are Beginning to Innovate (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: News publishers get beat up regularly for not making a successful journalistic transition from their palmy print days to the hotly competitive digital era, and they certainly deserve it. But I think Neal Mann’s recent full-metal-jacket attack on them in Medium was way over the top.
People.io Is Another Shot at Rewarding People for Sharing Personal Data (TechCrunch)
There have been multiple attempts to convince web users of the value of their attention and/or personal data. With privacy such a high-profile issue in the tech and political sphere, it’s inevitable we’re going to see more startups trying to build businesses promising to license — rather than harvest — user data. People.io is one such company. Related: This Is the Real Price You Pay for ‘Free’ Public Wi-Fi
Foursquare Now Lets You Ask Your Friends’ Advice for Your Next Trip (The Next Web)
Foursquare’s latest feature taps into a more forward-thinking mode. The company, which made its name getting people to find out about locations they’re in, has announced “Foursquare Trip Tips” to invite its users to also use the app when planning their next adventure.
This Deal Will Make It Easier for Brands to Connect With Buyers on All Screens (Adweek)
As marketers increase their budgets for cross-screen programmatic advertising this year, two ad tech companies are teaming up to cater to that growing need. ITN Networks, which specializes in programmatic sales across linear television, has announced an investment in mobile-first video platform Torrential.
HopSkipDrive, the Ridesharing Startup for Kids, Grabs $10.2M in Series A Funding (TechCrunch)
HopSkipDrive, the Los Angeles-based “Uber for Kids,” has closed a $10.2M round. The company also announced that it has hired Eyal Gutentag, previously general manager of Uber’s L.A. operations, as COO. HopSkipDrive lets parents schedule pickups for their kids with trusted, thoroughly vetted drivers to shuttle them between school or activities.
The Rise of the Yelpers (Chicago Magazine)
To some, Yelp’s amateur reviewers are the scourge of the Internet. To others, they are reliable, democratic barometers of a business’s worth — social-media-era critics who, to paraphrase Yelp’s motto, serve up real reviews by real people.
Technology Helps to Personalize at Scale (eMarketer)
Attitudes toward personalization may vary, but there are benefits to using enriched and personalized content to drive engagement and conversions. Higher response and engagement rates are the top reason to use personalized content. Marketers worldwide also said that timely and relevant interactions, greater customer affinity, and more persuasive communication were also leading benefits.