MediaWorks to play in the social buying sandpit as joint venture announced

Hot on the heels of the Yellow/Groupy deal and in line with the online acquisition strategies of other major media networks, MediaWorks has entered group buying territory, signing a joint venture agreement with Cudo Australia, Microsoft and Nine Entertainment Co. to launch Cudo in New Zealand.

The rapid rise of group buying in Australia. Source: Cudo/Nielsen Netview

The site will be modelled on the successful Australian version, which has a unique audience of 788,000 and, just as APN does with its 50 percent stake in GrabOne, MediaWorks will harness its significant media assets across radio, TV and online to promote the daily offer (in what could be seen as Home Shopping 2.0, Carly Flynn, former Sunrise presenter and current breakfast news reader on radio station The Breeze has been roped in to front the daily deal showcases).

Cudo NZ is currently recruiting a general manager and will be launching the service to consumers in March.

“This is an important development for MediaWorks’ ecommerce strategy,” says MediaWorks director interactive, Siobhan McKenna. “Cudo Australia has been a very successful model, and we look forward to enabling New Zealand businesses and consumers to take advantage of this very smart ecommerce business model. With the power of TV3 and FOUR, plus our radio brands including The Edge, More FM, The Breeze, The Rock, RadioLIVE and Solid Gold, along with our online offering, combined with the strength of ACP Media, we believe the potential of this initiative to be significant. Ecommerce ventures work best when large numbers of consumers are driven to the trading environment. Our media strength allows this to occur, and the Cudo business model provides an ideal template to model this initiative on.”

Chief executive of Cudo Australia, Billy Tucker, says the expansion into New Zealand is a natural move.

“Our winning formula, which has quickly propelled Cudo to the number one spot in Australia, is expected to make a big splash in New Zealand. Our joint venture with MediaWorks puts us in an enviable unique position to provide Cudo businesses with extensive marketing support, in addition to access to a significant audience.”

The daily deal sites seem to make both buyers and sellers happy (except when 1-day is caught out selling a load of non-genuine Wheelybugs). But with so many similar outfits now all barking up the same tree, it remains to be seen whether there’s a limit to the number of facials, spray tans or cheap rounds of mini golf New Zealanders are willing to shell out for.

Nielsen doesn’t have data on the rise of group buying in New Zealand, but its next Online Retail Report, which will be released in April, will show many New Zealand internet users subscribe to daily deal e-mail alerts and how many have purchased from such sites in the previous three months.

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