Startup NimbleCommerce wants to become the daily deal platform for media companies (often, but not always, the traditional ones that are struggling to make money online), and today it’s announcing a big customer — Digital First Media, which manages the MediaNews Group (the second largest newspaper chain in the United States) and the Journal Register Company.
Altogether, Digital First says it reaches 57 million Americans in 18 states. Its newspapers include The Denver Post, The Salt Lake Tribune, and the San Jose Mercury News. Chief Digital Officer Arturo Duran tells me the company has already seen success with daily deals in some markets, like Denver and San Jose. However, NimbleCommerce allows Digital First to unify the deal platform across all its properties, exporting the successful models to other markets and making it easier for businesses to offer their deals in more than one paper. (He also insists that the partnership wasn’t about price, but presumably this lowers costs, too.)
Duran argues that this move is part of Digital First’s broader strategy for surviving in the digital age.
“The newspapers grew up thinking that they had to be different,” Duran says. “One of our big strategies has been standardization — the navigation, the backend, it has to be universal. … We think a big piece of why the newspapers do not survive is because they try to do everything on the small scale.”
For now, the partnership is focused on daily deals initially, but Duran and NimbleCommerce CEO Prashant Nedungadi say it could eventually expand into some of the other services that NimbleCommerce offers, such as other forms of e-commerce. Nedungadi also says that his company is now profitable, and that it’s managing nearly $150 million in revenue through its platform.