Idearc, RHD Near Exit From Bankruptcy

Reuters is reporting that both Idearc and R.H. Donnelley are close to completing their bankruptcy processes, and are planning to hit the ground running with plans to transform themselves from print-centric to multiproduct businesses. The following quote from Idearc CEO…

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ILM:09: 3 Top VCs Discuss Local + Money

Money is tight in the VC community for local startups, with the dollar outlay down by 30-40 percent, and money raised just a third of what was raised in 2008, per research by Canaan Partners. There is also expected to be a sharp consolidation among sites that have received funding. But three top VCs speaking on the “Money Panel” at ILM:09 cited excellent opportunities in specific sectors of the local ecosystem, including retail, promotions, video and content aggregation.

The challenge is meeting a VC’s standard for advertiser and user volume – always a problem with heavily fragmented local services. Comcast Interactive Capital’s Michael Yang noted that he can’t seriously consider anything with less than one million unique visitors per month. Barring that, “We’re more apt to sit back and see if you can break through the ceiling,” said Yang, who formerly ran marketplaces for Yahoo. Still, Comcast is studying the market closely, especially “commerce and marketplace solutions, as opposed to pure directory plays.”

Patricia Nakache of Trinity Ventures echoed Yang’s interest in commerce and marketplace plays. She noted that most of the attention in local has previously been on Yellow Pages-oriented considered purchase. “What online hasn’t cracked yet is the impulse purchase,” which she calls “the new frontier.”

Citing as a prime example Groupon, a collective coupon site that just received $32 million in funding, Nakache said lessons from retail sites are soon going to be widely applied to local promotions and local advertising. She also sees opportunities in verticals and classifieds. The broad appeal of broad sites such as Craigslist will be complemented by verticals such as in the healthcare field. “There is an opportunity for a more curated experience,” she said.

Canaan Partners’ Warren Lee also looked for opportunities with verticals, especially in retail. “In the same way that ad networks evolved and became more vertical, we’re seeing similar things on the retail side. Broad sites like eBay will give way (or verticalize themselves) to more narrowly tailored sites, “especially as people become more capable of merchandizing things online,” and boost their “sophistication in marketing and attracting consumers.”

Lee says it all comes down to scaling audiences and expenses. He finds aggregated content especially compelling for this reason. Sites such as Associated Content, Demand Media and, for instance, have really brought out the long tail thanks to the “power of search.” Associated Content’s articles from 2005 made more money in 2008 than they did when they were first written, he noted.”It is a sustainable, highly scaleable model.”

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ILM:09: Mapping for Online Success

Mapping has become less about radius of where you are and more about what people define as local, how far people are willing to travel and the importance of certain events or locations in their community. While the advertising paradigm…

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ILM:09: Mobile SuperForum

Kicking off this afternoon's Mobile SuperForum, BIA/Kelsey analyst Mike Boland walked through a number of key trends he sees affecting the development of mobile local search. These include rapid hardware improvement, the increasing local focus of mobile, the growing appreciate…

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ILM:09: Localizing the Big Sites

Cory Bergman of MSNBC; Jim Pastor of ESPN Local and Kinsey Wilson of NPR Digital Media tackled issues related to how local "local" must be and what's the best mix of national brands and platforms with local news and info.…

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ILM:09: Localizing the Portal

  Microsoft's new MSN Local preview site is set to launch in 2010, Scott Moore and Cyrus Krohn announced on their “localizing the portal” panel at ILM:09. MSN Local will leverage Microsoft assets like its 100 million U.S. MSN users,…

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ILM:09: Falling Off the Cliff

BIA/Kelsey President Neal Polachek and SVP Matt Booth kicked off the ILM:09 conference by presenting BIA/Kelsey's local revenue forecast and the state of interactive local media. The bottom line is that they continue to predict that local media will fall from…

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ILM:09: Cracking the SEM Nut

Kenshoo Search is the third-generation end-to-end search marketing platform that was "built utilizing the quality management approach." Its USP is to enable marketers to optimize every aspect of their campaigns to achieve maximum ROI. At ILM:09, Sivan Metzger announced the…

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