Cox Media Group is the latest media company to turn to offering daily online deals as a way to create an additional revenue stream. The Atlanta-based broadcaster and publisher’s group buying discount program is called DealSwarm that will soon be available to bargain hunters in Atlanta, Austin, Dayton and Seattle.
When the site is fully operating sometime in the next few weeks, Cox promises discounts of 50 percent or more on local dining, entertainment and other services from local businesses.
Although ad spending has made a comeback this year, the rates are still well below where they were three years ago and show no signs of returning to previous peaks any time soon.
As a result, publishers are trying to get into e-commerce to extend their reach to consumers and marketers. Whether that will offset the losses from print the side is questionable, but at this point, publishers can hardly be faulted for seeing this sort of business as “the next big thing.”