CityGrid is one of the few API providers out there that provide revenue sharing opportunities for their developers. CityGrid wants to make sure developers are successful with their web and mobile applications, and being able to generate revenue and be sustainable is key to this success.
However, one common misconception I encounter talking with CityGrid publishers is the perception that monetization of your app automatically means showing advertising on your site or in your application. I think this is a common perception in an industry dominated by advertising, with many startups using this as their primary business model.
Local mobile or web advertising is one way you can make money using CityGrid, however you can get paid for just displaying places, and connecting your users with these merchants. Using CityGrid Places that Pays, developers can implement a tracker on the places details pages, passing several values, recording the fact that a particular place was displayed.
Each tracking call has what is called an “action_target”, with the most common value being “listing_profile”, which gives you credit for showing the profile of a business listing. However there a total of 12 action targets you can implement that are “billable”:
- listing_profile – Embed on the profile page of both advertisers and non advertisers
- click_to_call – Embed where user clicks to call provided phone number
- listing_website – Click to External Listing Website
- listing_review – Embed anywhere reviews are shown
- listing_map – Embed where a map is shown with advertiser’s location
- listing_driving_direction – Embed on page where directions are provided to merchant location
- listing_map_print – Embed on confirmation page of user printing map of merchant location
- send_listing_email – Embed on confirmation page of user sending merchant information via email
- send_listing_phone – Embed on confirmation page of user sending merchant information via SMS
- offer – Embed on page where advertiser offer is displayed
- partner_menu – Trigger when a non-CityGrid menu is shown
- partner_reservation – Trigger when a non-CityGrid reservation window is shown
The listing profile is most common, but you can get paid for just showing reviews, offers and a map to the business location. Then in addition you can show advertising to further increase your revenue, but advertising is not required.
There are a total of 26 actions you can record with places data, only 12 of them are billable, but you can see where CityGrid is going– rewarding developers for quality usage of places, offers and reviews data is just the start. CityGrid is working hard to understand the value of this content and actions around it, so that developers can be paid to build high quality web and mobile apps that use CityGrid content.
So if your looking to make money with your web or mobile app, definitely consider advertising, but it is a good time to start looking beyond advertising and understand how you can make money implementing “Places that Pay”!