Tag Archives: Matchbin

Matchbin Becomes Radiate Media; Focuses on Ad Network & Services

Matchbin has spent $10 million to acquire 800 radio and TV accounts from Navteq’s Radio and TV Group (formely Traffic.com). It has also raised $12 million for working assets from Silicon Valley Bank, and is rebranding the combined entity as Radiate Media. The money to acquire the Navteq broadcaster accounts came from Level Equity, Greycroft Partners and vSpring Capital.

The company will have dual headquarters in Malvern,PA and Salt Lake City, with additional offices in several media capitals. Radiate Media CEO Chris Rothey will now assume the same title for the combined entity, while Matchbin CEO Hal Widlansky becomes President and COO.

Matchbin been one of many vendors vying for local media partners to build an ad network and provide online services such as directories and SEO. It has been competing with the likes of CItyGrid Media, Local.com, Datasphere, Local Thunder, Planet Discover, Triton Online Services, MediaSpan, Ellington, ShopCity and others. The challenge has been to differentiate itself from the pack. One way has been to assert itself as a cutting-edge technology provider. Along these lines, it has focused on such things as providing mobile apps and iPad specific services.

The purchase of the Navteq broadcast accounts is a bolder move. It includes the accounts that had been grandfathered from Navteq’s $210 million purchase of Traffic.com in 2007, but never deeply integrated into the main business of providing map and data content to mobile carriers.

The new accounts will be added to Matchbin’s 1,300 existing media accounts – which are mainly newspaper and local news media. They now put Matchbin in 49 of the Top 50 markets, reaching 50 percent of U.S. households. Previously, Matchbin’s largest market was Orange County, CA via The OC Register. More typical markets were Marietta,GA and Albuquerque, NM. The company also reports having a base of 6,000 advertisers.

COO Hal Widlansky told us he likes the new positioning because it creates a network of 4,000 ad spots a day on the network. He also notes that the former Navteq properties will provide near-term cash flow, accounting for roughly 75 percent of the company’s revenue. Over time, however, he anticipates that the provision of online services from a variety of players will even things out. Much of the growth of the new company will come from the digital side of the business.

Mobile also figures largely in the company’s plans, adds Widlansky, especially with HTML 5 changing the mobile dynamic away from apps.

Matchbin Launches Tablet Newsstand for Local Publishers

(Image is of Zinio Newssstand for iPad, but you get the idea….)

The release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab will give the iPad some competition. It reminds us that the rise of tablets has been positioned as a savior for publishing, including newspapers and magazines.

Theoretically, at least, tablets can process incremental per-copy and subscription sales via their download function. Utilizing their larger, touch-screen capabilities, they could also enable appealing interactive ads. The Galaxy Tab is expected to sell one million units by the end of 2010, while Apple has so far sold seven million iPads.

Of course, we are equally intrigued by their potential for bundling in transactional capabilities. This includes everything from the sale of music, event tickets and even promotional giveaways of consumer packaged goods. All of these can become purchased “apps.”

Indeed, a successful billing vehicle has become something of a holy grail for e-commerce, partly driving the $1.2 Billion sale of Skype to eBay in 2005, and the development of other phone-based commerce since then. But tablets, which have additional capabilities beyond the mobile “on the go” experience, might have additional potential.

A lot comes down to is the success of a tablet newsstand that local (i.e. geographically zoned and often smaller) publishers could work with. Currently, for the iPad at least, the TuneKit format has been focused largely on large publishers (and most of these deals haven’t been consummated.) Consequently, the only recourse that publishers have had is to build custom applications for the App Store – an expensive and iffy proposition, especially for smaller, local-oriented publishers.

While other publishers are often invited to participate on custom platforms, they haven’t offered ideal solutions. The New York Times platform, for instance, can only publish that day’s slate of stories. It can’t package “issues” containing historical content, pay per view support or tie in to marketplace verticals such as classifieds and business directories.

One of the vendors that has focused on a better solution is Matchbin, the Utah-based CMS builder. It has been working on a newsstand solution that solves these issues for its customers, which include major newspaper publishers such as Freedom Communications, community weeklies, and ethnic media, such as Impremedia and World Journal. Matchbin represents 850 media titles and services at this point.

Using Matchbin, publishers can choose to support subscriptions (including options for pricing, time period and/or number of issues.) They can also choose to sell by single issue only. In the works are support services for dynamic user-interest matching, classifieds integration, vertical product integration and news wires.

The Matchbin Newsstand supports all content formats – HTML 5, Javascript, CSS, MP3, h.264. It also offers sales of every kind of content from 50 cent newspapers to $5.00 children’s books to $5,000 trade reports. Publishers can either develop custom layouts in popular formats such as DreamWeaver or iWeb, or send their XML-formated raw stories to Matchbin, which will reproduce them in an assortment of stock templates.

While the Newsstand has been developed for iPad, Matchbin is also working on Android, as well as solutions for desktop browsing, purchase and reading. The company also has its eyes on supporting Blackberry.

All of this – coupled with subscription pay-per0-view revenues – means that pubs will now be truly free to start shifting their expectations from print to digital,” notes CTO Miles Romney.

Another newsstand vendor in the marketplace is Next Issue Media, which will open its consumer-oriented digital newsstand early next year. The service, however, is entirely oriented towards Android.

Matchbin CTO Miles Romney is giving a special demonstration of Matchbin’s Newsstand at ILM:10, which takes place Dec. 7-9 in Santa Clara.

Matchbin’s ‘Deal a Day’ Targets Community Media, Non-English Speakers

Web site vendors may be well-positioned to jump-start Groupon-like “deal-a-day” offers. Analog Analytics and Adility, for instance, are seeking to leverage their respective media and sales channel relationships for deal a day.

Now jumping into the pool is Utah-based Matchbin, a CMS and digital advertising platform provider that has partnered with community newspapers, TV stations and radio stations — including Hispanic and Chinese language media. World Journal will provide Chinese speakers with offers in its six key markets: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Texas, Vancouver and Toronto. Spanish speakers will have access via Entravision’s 51 TV stations and 48 radio stations. Also on board is Impremedia, a Spanish language newspaper and content company that has titles and services reaching 31 percent of all U.S. Hispanic adults.

But first thing’s first. Today, Matchbin rolls out its “HotDeal” program with a florist/nursey promotion at thepress.net in Brentwood, CA. The promotion will run two days, which will be their model as a weekly–launch the deal with the paper on Thursday and run it through Friday, which is their biggest day for page views. Next week will feature a senior graduation photo package. Beyond that, Matchbin’s plans are to offer the capability to all 420 of its local media partners.

“We will immediately have a much larger number of communities/cities running daily deals than Groupon, Living Social or any of the other competitors,” says CEO Reed Brown. Brown also notes that the Hot Deal ratchets up the daily deal value, with selective use of such features as “Buy One, Get 2” coupons and $50 gift cards for user referrals.

Matchbin Brings Web 2.0 Services to the Boonies

Matchbin, a venture-backed firm based in Bountiful, Utah, is banking on aggregating rural and exurban audiences by providing community media companies with a full slate of advertising and social tools, rather than just providing one dimensional local search.

The six-year-old, 40 person company, settled on its current strategy during a relaunch in January 2008, and now has 315 affiliate titles, adding 20-25 more per month. In 2009, it projects revenues of $2.5 million, up from $800,000 in 2008.

The majority of Matchbin’s affiliates are weekly community papers, but the company also has TV and radio stations, as well as some newspapers. Major competitors include TownNews, which is principally owned by Lee Enterprises; Ellington; Local.com’s Local Connect service (formerly PremierGuide) and The Digital Press Consortium.

CEO Reed Brown says most of its affiliates haven’t really had a Web strategy before, so they tend to have an immediate jump in sales when they sign on. Out of the gate, they’re making $10,000 to $20,000 per week, he says. It adds up. A six paper chain in Southwest Montana pulled in $350,000 last year. Witchita,KS-based Fetchtoto.com earned $250,000 in five months.

The site provides its partners with everything from classifieds to reviews, but the heart of the service is definitely its business directory, says Brown. He believes that some customers in smaller communities aren’t necessarily ready to buy search, but they will take a rich Content Management System (CMS) package that includes search among directory, classifieds and other services.

Brown adds that the company, which licenses Localeze listings, now has 25,000 claimed pages, with 2,000 customers taking a premium package ranging from $150-$750 for a standard package, or $440 to $1500 for a multimedia solution. Recently,the company added an additional mobile component, hooking up with Verve Wireless for mobile coupons.