Yesterday Wanderful Media ™ announced the acquisition of iCircular from TheAssociated Press. iCircular is the mobile-phone equivalent of the stacks of coupons and other promotions inserted into print editions of weekend newspapers. We’re making a bet on mobile and tablets because we know these are the preferred technologies for shoppers today, and iCircular was a natural fit for our broader product offering which includes the Find n Save brand currently in over 275 markets.
The Associated Press has a long history of driving innovation in the industry and helping advance the mission of member newspapers. The iCircular pilot was launched by AP to bridge the digital gap by delivering the traditional weekly circular on mobile devices within trusted local news sources’ applications and mobile websites. The successful pilot included more than 180 publications and 21 nationwide retailers, and has produced important insights into consumer engagement and interest in mobile circulars.
Wanderful is building a new market approach, one that simply and seamlessly connects advertisers with millions of motivated buyers, and taps into social and mobile technologies to support the experience of discovery shopping from awareness to execution. We would like to thank AP for their innovation and their contribution to furthering the goals of the industry. Wanderful is looking forward to serving the needs of our media and retail partners by building a 50 million strong consumer audience who are engaged in an exciting shopping experience, and most importantly enabling consumers to actively discover and purchase products and services in their own backyards.
I’d like to personally thank the following individuals from The Associated Press and iCircular: Jessica Bruce, Vice President AP, Laurie Morris, AP Deputy Director Corporate Communications, Paul Colford, AP Director of Media Relations, David Saabye, iCircular Head of Sales and Marketing, Jeff Litvack, iCircular GM/COO, and Abdulla Elnatour, iCircular Director of Product Development.
Some interesting press resulted from the announcement of the acquisition:
Rick Edmonds delivers an insightful look at the media industry in its pursuit of digital shopping revenue and Wanderful Media’s plan to change the dynamics in local digital discovery shopping.
“I also think Wanderful marks a change in the industry’s thinking about digital advertising. For years companies have tried to develop effective ads on news websites with modest success at best. And as smart phone use and views of mobile news on those devices has soared over the last several years, advertising has not followed.
Wanderful, by contrast, can build on an existing base of big newspaper advertisers and be promoted from their existing and well-trafficked local web sites (or smart-phone and tablet versions). But it won’t suppose that there are many readers eager to toggle back and forth between news and shopping.” – via Poynter Media
A dissenting perspective…
“It appears that many newspaper companies are content to outsource their digital circulars business just as they did their classified recruitment and automotive business – getting marginal revenue boosts from digital while losing all of their print classified revenues. It is a dangerous strategy and one that could bring in huge profits for start-ups, while decreasing the same for the media partners.” via Talking New Media
Leena Rao provides an accurate and brief overview of the iCircular acquisition.
“The idea behind the iCircular acquisition is to broaden Wanderful’s products for mobile devices and tablets. While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Wanderful says the acquisition was less than eight figures.” – via TechCrunch
Good discussion of Wanderful Media’s product philosophy and direction by Steven Loeb.
“I think that everyone hates newspaper circulars. You know, those fliers that fall out of the newspaper, and are just page after page of coupons? Yeah, some of them are useful, and every once in a while you’ll see one for something you absolutely need right now. But going through all of those pages, and then keeping track of the clipped coupons, is a major pain, and usually not worth it.
Now, two products designed to digitize those annoying circulars are coming together.” via Vator News
AP played an innovative role for the industry in developing iCircular.
“The AP had always planned to sell iCircular, said Jessica Bruce, an AP vice president. The plan, she said, was to incubate and test the product on behalf of the industry to see if there was interest among newspapers, retailers and customers.” – via The Associated Press