Amazon Buys Teach Street, Folds it into Amazon Local, which is moving in multiple directions vis a vis local, has agreed to buy TeachStreet, the service for matching teachers and students. Amazon’s interest appears to be less in TeachStreet than in the underlying ecommerce platform for SMBs. The platform already is being used by The Washington Post for its Service Alley SMB leads service. TeachStreet had raised just over … Read more

New Newspaper Consortia Rolls out Shopping Platform; Acquires Travidia

A big chunk of the newspaper industry has banded together to adopt Find n Save, a shopping platform featuring a single place to review deals, product inventory, weekly specials, “cents off” grocery deals and local ads. Participating newspaper companies include many of the companies participating in the Yahoo search and national advertising consortia and the Zillow real estate consortia. They … Read more

NeuStar Buys TargusInfo, Parent of Localeze, for $650 Million

TargusInfo, a major direct marketing tools provider and the parent company of Localeze, a “Big 3” provider of business listings, will be acquired by NeuStar for $650 Million in cash. The deal enhances NeuStar’s positioning as a leader in authentication services across the Internet and voice networks, whether fixed-line, cable, or mobile. Authentication is expected to dramatically grow … Read more

Can Groupon Pull Off ‘Groupon Goods’?

Groupon announced this week that it will soon launch Groupon Goods, a division that will sell selective clearance items. The announcement, which comes a day after it announced a merchant rewards program, shows the company moving to really leverage its deals-oriented user list. Can Groupon pull it off? To me, it depends on whether Groupon is … Read more

All-Star Lineup at Marketplaces 2010, March 22-24, San Diego

Marketplaces 2010 takes place just 7 weeks from now in San Diego (March 22-24). We are putting the finishing touches on the program, and have added MANY exciting new speakers in just the past few weeks. The event is totally dedicated to the higher value/conversion/engagement ethos of vertical media. For sure, this isn’t one size fits … Read more

Deals 3D: CEO Steven Boal on Power of E-Coupons

While deals are getting most of the attention right now, coupons remain a substantially larger player in the promotions business, says Steven Boal, CEO of, who was keynoting at BIA/Kelsey’s Deals 3D conference this week in San Francisco. Boal notes that deals and coupons have very similar demographics. They’re both heavily used by women, for instance. But … Read more’s Spreebird Solidifies Deals Strategy; Buys Destination Site

Aiming to be a Top 5 deals site by the end of next year, today announced that it has bought southern California’s Screamin’ Daily Deals to provide the infrastructure for its Spreebird daily deals site. The site has been purchased for $12.5 in stock, cash and relief of debt , with two year, performance-based earn-outs possibly bringing the … Read more

Google Re-Thinks The Purchase Funnel: ‘Zero Moment of Truth’

The purchase funnel that takes consumers from awareness to transaction and retention has been an article of faith among marketers for many years. TV advertising, for instance, is “upper funnel.” Yellow Pages, at the point of sales consideration, has been “lower funnel.” Google has other ideas. Any purchase consideration must now consider the impact of search … Read more

Groupon, Live Nation Team up for ‘The Live Email’

Groupon has moved closer to CEO Andrew Mason’s vision of being a “city guide” via “GrouponLive,” a new events source featuring various Live Nation events. “The Live email”, featuring last minute discounts, is being sent out to Ticketmaster’s regular opt-in list. It is also available to users who go to the site. Live Nation says GrouponLive will be … Read more

Marketplaces 2009: Top 10 Takeaways

Thanks for everyone who came out to LA for the Marketplaces 2009 conference this week– and to everyone who followed us on the blogs and Twitter. We had a great time. Here’s some topline takeaways. 1. The vertical online environment is still immature and will actually grow very healthily over the next several years. It is amazing to … Read more