TKG Data and Analysis: A Weekly Recap

Here are this week’s highlights from the TKG blog, in case you missed any posts. Click below to read each post in full.

MerchantCircle: 5,000 Paying Customers
MerchantCircle, which is partially owned by IAC, is apparently beginning to make some headway in selling search oriented services to small businesses. It reports that it has achieved a base of 5,000 paying customers, who buy services costing $30, $60, $100 and $250 a month. “Most of them are coming in at the lower end” — the “starter circle” package — “ but we do have customers at all price points,” said a spokesman. (read more…)

Urbanspoon Creates Local Discovery Engine for the iPhone
Urbanspoon is one of the first companies to announce a local search iPhone app (others are here). The application acts almost like a local restaurant eight-ball that lets users define cuisine price or other factors, before shaking the device to see what nearby eatery pops up. (read more…)

Trulia Selling Realtors Unlimited Self-Serve Ads
The frontiers of Web-based, self-serve advertising moved (a little) today, as Trulia introduced Trulia Pro, a new “starter” package for Realtors that provides unlimited “featured listings” and “Spotlight Ads” that Realtors use for branding. Trulia claims its featured listings capability boosts views by four to seven times. (read more…)

The SMB Video Opportunity: A Conversation With Adfare
Adfare has joined the growing list of companies looking to work with Internet Yellow Pages in order to tap the sizable opportunity of video-enabling their advertisers (3.2 million small and medium-sized businesses). But as Director of Business Development Frank Rocco reminded me this morning, the company isn’t new to SMB advertising. It primarily works with newspapers and is seeing good reception among auto dealers and classified advertisers that want to take advantage of the falling barriers to online video. (read more…)

Dulski’s New Thing: Events and Plans Front and Center’d
Is there room for a new, locally oriented social network if it is more practical than Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, LinkedIn, et al? That’s what Norwest Partners and Keynote Ventures are betting $6.5 million on with the launch this week of Center’d, formerly known as FatDoor. Currently in soft launch, or “first draft,” the service is sort of women focused and bent on helping friends get together locally. “People, Places and Plans” is the tag. Historically speaking, its first iteration, FatDoor, is now considered a false start. It had most of the money, and some hot tech, but no plan. (read more…)

Local.com Adds Reviews
Local.com today announced it has added the ability for users to write reviews directly on the site. This will include ratings (five-star system) and reviews that registered users can submit and track over time. The question of reviews in the local space has evolved from “should?” to “how?” Ratings and reviews are table stakes and an expectation for users. Many of the concerns about advertiser appeasement and spotty reviews volume have mostly quieted. The question is mostly how you get the reviews. (read more…)

AgendiZe Releases Video API
AgendiZe today announced it will launch an API for Yellow Pages publishers to enhance the videos they are shooting for small businesses, and hosting on their sites. The “video to action” API lets publishers create overlays for videos that bring up interactive calls to action when moused over. This is similar to functionality provided by Mixpo, and also comes weeks after AgendiZe did something similar for the video assets of VideoAgency. That was more of a custom job, whereas this extends the capability (via API) to Yellow Pages publishers to apply to their growing volumes of video clips. (read more…)

Now Playing on Your Phone: Video on Demand Classifieds
Classifieds have made their way to video (See RealPeopleRealStuff). But how about video on mobile phones? That’s a new effort being tried out in Portugal, where high-speed 3G phones are prevalent, but less than 40 percent of the population has Internet access. The video ads are being provided by Ocasio, a shopper publication with a print circulation of 25,000. (read more…)

Jivox Raises $10 Million
Self-serve video ad provider Jivox announced a $10 million round today. We wrote about the company, which lets advertisers create short ads using stock video, a few months ago. It also distributes these ads through a publisher network, which has grown with today’s addition of WorldNow ExpoTV and AOL India. It claims $40 million viewers in this network. (read more…)

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