[Our friend Michael Skoler wrote this post for Mizzou's Reynolds Journalism Institute, where he's currently a fellow. It's on deal brokering — sites like Groupon or Woot that connect sellers to buyers by offering time-limited deals. He thinks it could be a big part of news organizations' financial future, and we thought you'd be interested in seeing it. —Josh]
How does this sound? A million-dollar revenue stream that requires only a salesperson or two, some web support and off-the-shelf e-commerce and newsletter tools? It caught my eye. And I’m suggesting you steal the idea for your local news operation fast before national competitors own the market.
The idea is deal brokering. You use your knowledge of the local scene, your brand and your contacts to negotiate group deals with local businesses from bars to restaurants to dry cleaners. The businesses offer big one-time discounts to attract new customers, your audience gets access to great deals, and you broker the deal on your site and get a substantial cut of the money. It’s already happening around the country.