Papers Finally Start Aping Groupon

Back in December, I wrote how news publishers, who used to own advertiser relationships, had blown another online advertising opportunity by not inventing the daily email deals phenomenon before the likes of Groupon. But now, publishers are indeed joining the party…

— DMGT will soon launch a Groupon clone and will acquire “a very small site, a very small player, as part of the process”, a source tells launched a London-centric daily deals initiative, Telegraph Selected, last week.

— In January, Archant bought half of Norfolk-based deals facilitator Tickle.

— And this month, Bild publisher Axel Springer bought 74.9 percent of KaufDa, a German online service which lists retailers online brochures and makes coupons available on a location-aware basis via mobile.

U.S. publishers had started playing catchup to Groupon and LivingSocial much more quickly.

Publishers like McClatchy and Media General have partnered with Groupon to launch daily deal initiatives, powered by and sold by Groupon itself, while others like Cox and Star-Tribune Company are running such programmes in-house using white-labeled technology.

The New York Times (NYSE: NYT) last week unveiled its own in-house version, TimesLimited. Of course, other papers, like The Times and The Guardian, have their own offers for subscribers, though not necessarily on the daily schedule favoured by Groupon.

» See our earlier article on Why Content And Commerce Is A Marriage Made In Heaven.