September 16, 2008
MerchantCircle and Spotzer Partner to Provide Every U.S. Business a Free Promotional Video
LOS ALTOS, Calif., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- MerchantCircle, the largest online network of local business owners in the nation, and Spotzer Media Group, a pioneer of ready-to-air advertising solutions, today announce a partnership that gives MerchantCircle's 600,000 local business owners easy access to the most scalable, affordable custom videos in the market. This scale of high quality, professional video creation and distribution is unprecedented and the first of its kind.
"We've been experimenting and testing different video options for our local merchants for a long time," says Darren Waddell, MerchantCircle VP of Marketing. "A lot of the problems we saw related to issues with scaling custom video creation for hundreds of thousands of local merchants. The other issue was affordability; many local merchants just aren't able to pay thousands of dollars for a custom-produced video. Ultimately, working with Spotzer we solved these issues with unique and impressive technology."MerchantCircle members will have access to Spotzer's library of thousands of professionally produced ready-to-air business videos. Members will have the option to put a free business video on their MerchantCircle listing. The basic video is automatically customized to reflect the merchant's name, address and contact details. All of the videos include title screens as well as professionally produced voice and music tracks. Since launch, more than 2,000 merchants have already added a video to their MerchantCircle listing.
Merchants can purchase exclusive rights to use their video in their region for $39 per month. Businesses desiring more customized videos can enhance the basic video with a unique voiceover for a fee of $69 per month. A premium upgrade is also available for $79 per month and allows the merchant to add photographs and logos into the video.
"Spotzer and MerchantCircle are a perfect fit. We both help small and local businesses put digital media to work by offering scalable solutions that are easy for merchants to use and extremely affordable," says Valerie Taylor, Spotzer Sr. Vice President. "MerchantCircle has been able to bring local businesses onto the web for their first experience. Through this partnership, they will have access to the web's most affordable custom video product."
"We're always looking for new ways to market ourselves, and had been looking for some time to provide a more engaging, unique, and personable web experience for our prospective clients," says Christopher Walker, Mission Grove Realty in Hemet, CA. "When we looked into adding a professional video for our business, all of the options we were seeing would have cost us hundreds of dollars. This has been, by far, the easiest and least expensive option we've found. We're extremely happy with the way the video turned out."
Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest online network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking features with a customizable web listing that allows local merchants to attract new customers. More than 15 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country are easily accessed on major search engines.
Currently, over 600,000 merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, create coupons and newsletters, and connect with other merchants. In addition to its free services, MerchantCircle offers a portfolio of online advertising services including Search Engine Marketing, Website Directory Submission, Web Content Creation, and Business Verification. MerchantCircle has attracted thousands of paying customers since launching a suite of advertising services in December.
MerchantCircle is located on Main St. in downtown Los Altos, Calif., and is funded by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Disney's Steamboat Ventures, and Citysearch, a property of IAC. Learn more at http://www.merchantcircle.com/
About Spotzer Media Group
Spotzer Media Group is the first global advertising agency dedicated to making high quality video advertising fast, affordable and highly targeted. We offer long tail advertisers a range of innovative TV and web video products and services through partnerships with media companies, directory and local search publishers and advertising and media agencies. We also provide creative solutions as well as media planning and buying services directly to local, regional and national advertisers.
Spotzer is based in Amsterdam and has offices in New York and San Francisco. Shareholders include Sierra Ventures, Cyrte Investments and European Directories. Learn more at http://www.spotzer.com/.
CONTACT: Kevin Leu of MerchantCircle, +1-858-361-4407,Kevin@MerchantCircle.com; or Sonjay Kosman of Spotzer Media Group,+1-917-455-9450, Skosman@spotzer.com
Web site: http://www.merchantcircle.com/http://www.spotzer.com/