Product review site Reviewed.com is acquired by USA Today today
January 4, 2011 1 Comment
Today, a press release USA Today acquired reviewed.com is distributed. The Reviewed.com network of sites include http://www.DigitalCameraInfo.com, http://www.TelevisionInfo.com, http://www.CamcorderInfo.com, http://www.PrinterInfo.com, http://www.HeadphoneInfo.com and reaches an average of 1,000,000 monthly unique readers. The site promised lab-tested reviews and gives consumers comparison tools to determine the best product for their needs.
The question appears is that why does USA today needs a product review site. Using compete.com, I randomly picked 3 sites out of the networks of website, here is the traffic.
It appears that the more or less there are roughly 500K unique visitors for the site in a month. And the President and Publisher of USA today says,
USA TODAY’s acquisition of Reviewed.com is an important step as we develop our integrated consumer media strategy. We believe this combination of our consumer technology coverage and access along with their reviews and audience will be a winning one for our customers.
So based on this quote, what USA today is planning to do is to increase its exposure into the consumer side. Providing helpful information to consumer is a good way to get traffic for sites, but one of the most important criteria is to have a clean, simple way for online users to find their information.
Something I like about the site is the segmentation of review parts, so you can easily access to the information you can find. However, there are a few things I don’t like about this site.
- The overall sites are a network of sites, at times it could be helpful to group readers, but it h confusing branding.
- The reviews are quite technical and it is for readers and shoppers who cares about the technical details. You will need quite sometimes to understand the materials and digest and make your own judgments whether it is for you or not.
- similar to the previous point, the reviews to me is like a summary of the technical manual, and it is not for a layman like myself, my mom, or my wife. Even it is a nice website for shopper but the audience are actually very niche.
- The site is pretty static, again because the information are so technical. There aren’t really much of readers or people who can contribute or comment on the materials. To me it is like a static rewrite of information without consumer participation. For example, if I own a camera, and read the review, I can’t really comment on that unless I have another camera to compare with, or I am someone from the industry.
So based on my reviews above, my guess is either USA today wants to obtain the information from the site, the technical resources so they can tap into the consumer report market, both online and offline. Otherwise, if USA Today is trying to use it as a web traffic magnet, they may be disappointed.
IMHO, these group of sites are great for certain readers, but a very niche group of users.