AOL Taps Citysearch in Content Distribution Deal

AOL and Citysearch announced a deal today wherein Citysearch content will be distributed throughout the AOL network.

According to what AOL told us, this will play out in a few different ways.

  • AOL will infuse Citysearch editorial reviews, user reviews, merchant videos and photos throughout its local network (AOL CityGuide, Local Search and MapQuest).
  • Local businesses that provide paid listings on Citysearch will get exposure on AOL’s network of local sites totaling 57 million monthly unique visitors, according to comScore.
  • AOL will increase monetization of its local properties by integrating local paid listings from Citysearch advertisers across its local network.
  • Citysearch content integration will provide reach into new local markets and an increase in page views — generating new premium ad inventory for AOL’s Platform A customers.

Essentially, Citysearch gets extra distribution to the tune of 57 million monthly uniques (a plus for its advertisers). AOL gets additional content to boost its user experience and extra revenue (rev share) from Citysearch’s PFP ads. Sound familiar? This has all the makings of the distribution deal Citysearch signed with Local.com back in December (except more traffic).

Like that deal, we’re bullish on its possibilities for both parties. One of the highlights for me is that Citysearch will feed local reviews and video content into AOL Local and other properties. Local video and reviews are becoming a hot commodity and Citysearch has done a good job aggregating and producing them.

In the case of video, it was one of the first local search sites to offer local merchant video ads (using TurnHere). Not only has it caught on well among SMB advertisers, but it also seems like everyone else now wants the content. Same goes for reviews.

“Partnering with Citysearch enables us to better serve the more than 57 million consumers who come to the AOL network in search of local information with additional content and reach into new markets,” says AOL Director of Product Management Chris Spanos. “In addition, we are better serving the advertising community that is looking to reach local consumers, through both the integration of Citysearch’s paid listings as well as through the creation of new premium inventory for our Platform A customers.”

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