Street Fight Daily: Uber Tried to Buy Lyft, Google Helps Brick-and-Mortar Biz

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

Uber Tried to Buy Lyft in 2014 But Negotiations Fell Apart Over Price (Business Insider)
Uber tried to buy its largest American ride-hailing rival, Lyft, in 2014, but negotiations fell apart over price, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick confirmed to the Economist.  “It’s a really powerful thing for a company to compete. It makes you fierce about serving your customer,” Kalanick told the Economist.

Google Helps Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Turn Mobile Scrolling Into In-Person Buying (MediaPost)
Google this week is rolling out an interactive experience in the U.S. for apparel and home décor retail advertising that it calls “shop the look.” The goal for retailers trying to connect with consumers searching on mobile devices will be turning online browsing into online buying through images in search results. Search Engine Land: Google adds “Reviews from the web” to critic reviews in local search results.

XPlenty CEO: Pokémon Go Data’s Usefulness Depends on Integration and Visualization Strategies (Street Fight)
“It’s pretty difficult to get access to location data,” says Yaniv Mor. “There are quite a few companies today that are starting to provide products for smaller businesses that will help them take advantage of location data, but at this scale — hundreds of millions of users — that’s something that we haven’t seen yet.”

With Facebook’s Power Growing, Publishers Scramble to Connect Directly with Audiences (Digiday)
The platforms have inserted themselves between publishers and their readers, making it harder for publishers to make money off them. To counter, publishers are getting smarter about striking direct connections with readers, getting people to come to their sites where they have full control over audience data and monetization.

Case Study: Rhode Island Spa Looks to Automate Repetitive Marketing Tasks (Street Fight)
When Alayne White first started using an online booking portal at her eponymous Rhode Island spa, her goal was to get just 10% of clients to book online. Eight years later, she’s inching closer to the 50% threshold, as nearly half of her clients are booking their appointments through desktop and mobile devices.

Customers Want Brick-and-Mortar Stores to Be As Efficient as E-Commerce (eMarketer)
eMarketer’s Tricia Carr spoke with Hongwei Liu, ‎co-founder and CEO of retail wayfinding software provider Mappedin, about how retailers can make their in-store experience more attractive to today’s time-starved consumers.

Washington Post Unveils ‘Lightning-Fast’ Mobile Site Propelled by Google Tech (Wall Street Journal)
The Washington Post says it has a new “lightning-fast” mobile website, which it plans to roll out gradually before the end of the year. The publisher said the new site, based on Google technology called Progressive Web Apps, will load mobile webpages in under a second.

Two Digital News Organizations Become First Paperless Companies to Join the News Media Alliance (Nieman Lab)
“In terms of digital members for us, first of all, the most important thing is that they have a news culture, that they have newsrooms that create original journalism,” said David Chaver, president of News Media Alliance, which recently changed its name from the former Newspaper Association of America.

Adsquare Serves Up PMPs for Mobile Audience Data (AdExchanger)
On Tuesday, Adsquare launched a PMP for mobile data. Supply-side players like PubMatic, Rubicon Project, and Adform already allow buyers to bid on inventory in a private deal. “We’re enabling data owners to decide who can make use of their data,” said Adsquare CEO Tom Laband.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]