Canada’s Yellow Pages Group Buys RedFlagDeals

Yellowpages

Canada’s Yellow Pages Group has purchased Clear Sky Media, the owner of several Canadian shopping websites, including coupon aggregator RedFlagDeals and price comparison engine PriceCanada.com. The price was not disclosed.

The acquisition comes a month after Yellow Pages Group bought online dining guide Restaurantica and and on the same day that the company bought a stake in Canadian local search engine 411.ca. Like with the Restaurantica deal, Yellow Pages Group—which is Canada’s largest directory publisher—says its existing advertisers will now have another outlet for their ads. More in the release.

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NBCU Olympics: Digital Is The Future, But TV Is Still King

Olympics2010 Logo

It’s half-way through the Vancouver Olympics and NBC Universal’s research head Alan Wurtzel already has some findings to share about the viewing results so far. Anticipating the ire of bloggers who have complained that NBCU has been holding back too much live coverage of the games from online, Wurtzel made it clear that the network considers online viewing something for tomorrow, but “TV is still king today.” Still, Wurtzel had a number of stats related to online that he wanted to trumpet, particularly if it suggested that multitudes are watching more digital than before, with a large extent seeing it as an addition to TV. For online, Wurtzel said, “Here’s the headline: about half of those using NBCOlympics.com didn’t use it during the Summer Games in Beijing.”

The internet use, so far, has been more than double the entire 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. NBCU is also using a single source from Arbitron’s panel for both TV and internet viewing.

—93 percent of those who watched Apolo Ohno’s silver speed skating event never saw it on TV.

—In the men’s short program, 56 percent of those who watched figure skater Johnny Weir watched it for the first time online, while 44 percent watched it on TV first and turned to online video to relive it. “We’ve always thought that internet video viewing is a solitary event, but the research showed us that two-thirds of the people we interviewed said they watched a web video of the Olympics at least once with somebody else, while 16 percent said they regularly watched with others.”

Mobile: Not only is the growth huge, but it’s mainstreaming. 11 million mobile visits in Vancouver versus 8 million in Beijing. Seven out of 10 who are using mobile now to watch the olympics didn’t use their phones to view the Beijing games. There have been 1.1 million mobile app users to date for the Olympics.

Simultaneous viewing: Over half have watched TV and used the internet site at the same time. The same percent for mobile.

Google’s help: Wurtzel touted the research the network is doing with Google? on search results tied to the Olympics broadcast. During the opening ceremonies, NBCU ran a video on TV featuring the song “We Are The World” to promote assistance to the Haitian earthquake victims. Google? searches for the keyword “Haiti” went up 500 percent and remained high subsequently.

Brand recall: Advertisers who bought Olympics spots both online and offline saw an average boost in brand recall from consumers of roughly 16 percent—versus just buying one or the other.

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DocStoc Expands Online Marketplace; Adds Paid Subscription Format

Jason Nazar, CEO DocStoc

Docstoc, the online document-sharing service aimed at small business users, is expanding the online store is it opened last summer to bring in individuals. The new service augments the partner marketplace, which is mainly intended for larger publishers in the small biz, legal and real estate markets, as well as the advertising DocStoc runs on the free section of the site, CEO Jason Nazar (image, left) told paidContent. The site is also adding tiered subscriptions. Users can sign up for a free “basic” membership, which lets them view all the site’s 8 million-plus documents. On the paid side, users can opt for the “pro” and “pro plus” rates.

In addition to viewing all the site’s docs, the “pro” level allows downloading that covers half-a-million docs, as well as access to 250-plus “premium” material. The “pro” rate costs $24.95 per month and also includes weekly “document packages.” The “pro plus” plan charges $11.95 per month—$143.40 annually—for all of the aforementioned benefits as well as unlimited online document storage and a completely ad-free experience.

Among the attributes of the new buying and selling system that are intended to attract a wave of smaller sellers, DocStoc will split revenues 50/50 with publishers and authors. On top of that, for the first 60 days an e-book goes on sale, DocStoc will let publishers keep 100 percent of the revenues. DocStoc will also let publishers and bloggers sell the documents from their own sites.

Like the larger document sharing site, Scribd, DocStoc believes it can capitalize on the wider adoption of e-readers. Unlike Scribd, which has been working on securing deals with major publishers like Simon & Schuster, DocStoc’s focus is a bit more narrow, which Nazar says allows it to target readers and sellers more easily.

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AP Lowers Newspaper Fees On Hopes Of More Web Deals

The Associated Press is dropping its fees for newspaper members once again as it looks to strike more online content deals, AP reported. Next year, newspaper and broadcaster members will see their fees drop a collective $45 million. (In April, the AP said it was going to reduce fees by $35 million this year.) The moves come a year after a small group of members gave their two-year cancellation notice, citing the changes in fee structure. (That controversial member pricing plan divided services into core and premium; some members’ costs would have been reduced but others would have increased.) With newspaper revenues showing no signs of hitting bottom, AP is now trying to ease the financial burden on those members. At the same time, the news service realizes that it must find other sources of revenue and cut costs. Tom Curley, the wire service’s CEO, in an interview
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