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News Digital Media latest big player to move into price comparison

Monday, 6 September 2010 | By Oliver Milman

News Digital Media has become the latest large company to plunge into the price comparison site market, an area previously dominated by start-ups, with the purchase of Getprice.com.au.


News Digital Media previously acquired a minority stake in Getprice.com.au in October 2007 before upping its share to 52.2% in July last year.


Getprice.com.au, which was founded in 2005, currently lists more than two million products from around 1,000 retailers, allowing users to compare offers.


The acquisition of Getprice.com.au by News Digital Media follows the launch of Cudo by PBL Media last week.


Cudo works differently to Getprice.com.au in that it offers ‘group-buying’ vouchers to people based on a minimum number of sign-ups. The site will offer a single deal from each capital city.


Prior to the respective moves by media giants News Digital Media and PBL, the price comparison and online voucher space has been a fruitful area for many entrepreneurial start-up companies.


Online entrepreneur Fred Schebesta told StartupSmart that opportunities still remain for start-ups in the area.


“Getprice.com.au is a money machine, so it’s a sensible move by New Digital Media,” he said.


“Cudo is interesting. It seems as if it’s a bit late, but it will try to out-ad everyone through PBL’s channels. It’s a good business model, but a good handful of sites in Australia do the same thing already.


“Cudo coming in almost legitimises the niche and builds awareness. It’s still a growing niche – if you compare to the UK, Australians still go straight to the store a lot of the time and pay full whack in terms of the price.”


“If you are starting up now, there is still room in the market. The next step is niching within the niche, such as specialising in things like restaurants or technology.”


Richard Freudenstein, CEO of News Digital Media, says of the Getprice.com.au deal: “Over the next four years the Australian online retailing market is predicted to grow by 50% to $18 billion.


With 57% of online shoppers now visiting a comparison website before making a purchase decision, we see a very successful and highly profitable future for Getprice.”