Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wanderful Media, backed by major media companies, acquires iCircular from the Associated Press

One of the major obstacles to successful digital publishing for newspaper companies is the Sunday circulars which remain popular and prevent many readers from canceling completely their print subscriptions. For many, the big hope of retaining those paid advertising circulars has been iCircular, the mobile ad service from the Associated Press.

Today it was announced that iCircular has been sold to Wanderful Media, is a digital advertising company based in Los Gatos, Calif.

Wanderful Media, previously known as ShopCo, owns “Find n Save”, 275 local shopping websites. The company is backed by 12 media companies including Advance Digital, A. H. Belo Corporation, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., Cox Media Group, The E. W. Scripps Company, Gannett Co., Inc., GateHouse Media, Inc., Hearst Corporation, Lee Enterprises, MediaNews Group, The McClatchy Company and The Washington Post Co.

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.