Amazon has taken a $175 million stake in social buying site, LivingSocial. Like GroupOn and its many replicants, LivingSocial offers deep discounts on local deals on everything from spas and skydiving lessons to hotels and restaurants. Discounts range from 50% to 70% of the normal prices. If enough people buy into the offers, everyone gets the deal. Cupcakes, anyone?
LivingSocial collects payment and passes it on, minus its fee, to the business. Like GroupOn, what makes the service so compelling is that people have an incentive to get their friends involved to make sure the minimum is hit.
Founded in 2007, the company presently claims roughly 10 million subscribers across the U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia, along with average revenues of more than $1 million a day on average. Next year, LivingSocial said it expects to book over $500 million in revenue. According to Hitwise, Groupon commands 79% of U.S. visits to the group-buying category, while LivingSocial comes in a distant second with 8% of the market.
Google Buys Rights to Seattle Rights Manager WideVine
Laying the groundwork for its expanded movie rental service , Google has announced the strategic acquisition of Seattle-based Widevine as its deal of the day on Friday. Widevine , it is presumed, will provide copy protection and security for streaming movies to a variety of consumer devices, such as Internet-connected TVs, personal computers and cell phones. A purchase price was not disclosed.
Tableau Says No to Visualizing WikiLeaks
On Wednesday afternoon, Tableau Software removed data visualizations published by WikiLeaks to its Tableau Public service. “We understand this is a sensitive issue and want to assure the public and our users that this was not an easy decision, nor one that we took lightly,” the company announced on its site.
“We created Tableau Public—a free service that enables anyone to make interactive graphs from their data and share them online—because we recognized the need for strong analytics tools in a data-driven world. Given the controversy around the WikiLeaks data, we’ve closely followed the debate about who actually has the rights to the leaked data.
“Our terms of service require that people using Tableau Public do not upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any content that they do not have the right to make available. Furthermore, if we receive a complaint about a particular set of data, we retain the right to investigate the situation and remove any offending data, if necessary.
“Our decision to remove the data from our servers came in response to a public request by Senator Joe Lieberman, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, when he called for organizations hosting WikiLeaks to terminate their relationship with the website.
This will inevitably be met with mixed reaction. However, our terms of service were created to ensure responsible use of data.” [24×7]