Ask has partnered with IAC sister company EPI, publisher of “The Entertainment Book,” which offers coupons and discounts to local businesses. Entertainment, which has had several false starts with online distribution, is planning to pump 75 percent of its coupons into AskCity. They may also eventually make their way to Ask.com’s SmartAnswers and finally into mobile. Here’s more information including some examples from the Ask Blog.
Here’s an example:
According to the press release, there will eventually be 150,000 coupons (representing deals at 60,000 local businesses) that will be searchable in AskCity. While Google (see here) and Yahoo (see here) both have coupon offerings, they have not been well marketed to consumers and are not widely known. This despite high consumer interest in and appetite for coupons (which were worth $331.8 billion in 2006 according to CMS, Inc.). More than 79 percent of the US population uses coupons and over 50 percent of Sunday newspapers are purchased for the coupons. Yet despite being around since the beginning of the Internet, there’s no online coupon leader.
However, all this could be quite different by this time next year as more sites start to integrate deals and coupons and build databases of offers that consumers can search (e.g., Judy’s Book, which launched a coupon service of its own in April).
I have more discussion about the Ask-Entertainment deal and online coupons in general on my personal blog Screenwerk.