Live Cash Back Smacks Press

My Sidekick is going to be set aflame today. I have gotten so many IMs and e-mails about Microsoft launching a brand new cash back site. Um, guys, this is old news. Microsoft acquired Jellyfish last year.

[You can get links to a lot of blogs talking about this at Techcrunch.]

Jellyfish

Jellyfish was really two sites: A cash back site and Smack Deals. Last month and early this month, Microsoft took the cash back part offline for almost two weeks (an odd move) and brought it back as part of Live Search. It looks like it took a couple of more weeks for the news machine at Microsoft to get the word out. Today people heard about it.

cashback.com

The other piece of the puzzle is that Microsoft appears to have purchased cashback.com, a domain whose former owner, Maynard Small, wanted seven figures for it… and probably got it. Oddly enough, it appears that Microsoft did not buy cashback.net or 800cashback.com from Mr. Small. Yeah… I wish I had Microsoft Treasury behind me.

Integration into Live Search

Part of today’s announcement was the integration of the cash back portion of Jellyfish in Live Search. I can’t find it in search results on Live.com but assume that integration on SERPs and MSN / Hotmail newsletters can’t be far behind. People are asking me what that means for the existing loyalty sites like :Cashbaq. [Note: Cashbaq is owned by my company.]

I think this is great news. Microsoft is going to educate online shoppers about cash back rewards. All of the loyalty sites I have interaction with report increasing member bases. We certainly have seen a steep increase in membership at Cashbaq over the last year. I expect that to increase with Microsoft’s announcement.

A few years ago I pitched Yahoo on adding coupons to its search results powered by AnyCoupons, another of our sites. Yahoo wasn’t ready. Three years later, Yahoo was ready and signed a deal with Coupon Cabin. You can see results of that on Yahoo Search. Coupon sites have not been driven out of business since the launch of coupons on Yahoo. To the contrary, there are more coupon sites than ever before. I don’t expect to see Microsoft drive loyalty sites out of the market.

Kevin Johnson

When invoking the name of Kevin Johnson, I must first say GO BEARS!!! as Kevin Johnson played basketball at Cal in the 1980s. It is interesting that the President of Microsoft’s Platforms & Services Division is named Kevin Johnson. That is the same name as the recently-named CEO of Ebates. I guess I need to go find my own Kevin Johnson.

So… what’s the news?

About David Lewis

David Lewis is the CEO and founder of 77Blue which operates online shopping websites. Prior to that, he worked in business development at GoTo / Overture. David was a product manager and accountant in past lives. In 2006, David won Commission Junction’s Horizon Award for Innovation and was a finalist for Linkshare’s Golden Link Award. You can find David on Twitter @thedavidlewis.

Twitter: thedavidlewis

5 Responses to Live Cash Back Smacks Press

  1. AAfter Web Search has been giving cashback for a year.
    It validates our idea.

    Subhankar Ray

  2. Brook Schaaf says:

    It's kind of funny – people often have this vague but powerful notion that when a big competitor enters the space it will wipe out all the small players.

    This certainly does happen sometimes but in my experience, companies that are doing things right will continue to grow, even in the face of big competition. Competition is a reflection of the large marketplace opportunity. "If you don't have any competitors, you don't have any customers."

    Plus, sometimes the vaunted 800 pound gorilla doesn't make real penetration. Most of Google's projects haven't come to dominate their marketplaces.

  3. Adam Viener says:

    Rising tide floats all boats…

  4. Chuck Hamrick says:

    JellyFish trolled CJ for months contacting merchants. They required a pixel on your thank you page like a CPA network. CJ found out and booted them and now they are owned by MSN.

  5. Chuck Hamrick says:

    Just found the form to apply as a merchant in the Help section! One question is if you have the technical resourced to add a pixel to your thank you page.

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