It's better late than never to RSVP to the Groupon wannabe party.
"Wow provides you and your family with savings at your favorite local and national locations each and every day," the "coming soon" site promises.
A sample deal on the Wow.com site doesn't look all that different from the half-off dining deals popular on Groupon and LivingSocial.
Someone needs to call the fire marshal, because this niche is getting pretty crowded. Travelzoo
The attraction to the model is obvious. Groupon reportedly takes about half of a deal's proceeds -- so the spa offering introductory treatments at 60% off, is really selling it for 80% off. It may seem like a lousy deal for the sponsor, but if it results in repeat traffic or helps fill an empty hotel room, it's a win-win-win scenario.
The model's simplicity and thick margins have propelled Groupon's valuation into the $1.4 billion range. AOL's enterprise value, on the other hand, clocks in at a mere $2.3 billion. Clearly, achieving Grouponesque status would be a sweet deal for AOL investors.
That won't happen, of course, but you do have to like AOL's chances. It already has working relationships with display advertisers, and it reaches a wide enough audience to break down local deals by region. Who cares if AOL isn't first or even early here? If the company takes this initiative seriously -- and once sponsors begin hitting up the email@example.com email to load up the inventory of daily local and national deals, consumers will follow -- this could be one of CEO Tim Armstrong's best moves since coming over from Google
No offense to the regular visitors of the WOW Insider once housed at Wow.com, but to AOL, this is more than just a game.
Do you think Wow.com will work? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders whether AOL will ever party like it's 1999. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy has got mail!