An update

in Uncategorized

For those who thought we’d disappeared (and you’re apparently legion), here’s what we’ve been up to, in handy press release format:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 22, 2006

 
Pegasus
News
’ Preview Product Wins International and Local Awards,
Shatters Local Web Traffic Barrier

DALLAS, TX — Only six months after relaunching Dallas / Fort
Worth area music blog TexasGigs.com as a complete multimedia entertainment
service, Pegasus News accepted Editor and Publisher’s EPpy Award for
“Best Entertainment Site with fewer than 1 million unique monthly visitors,”
besting finalists from The Arizona Daily
Star
and El Pais in Spain.

Other winners in the competition included The Washington Post, CBS News, Newsweek, Slate, Sports Illustrated,
The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The Houston Chronicle, NY
Newsday
, MTV and Lawrence.com.

The EPpy win comes only a week after The Dallas Observer named TexasGigs
“Best Website” in its annual Music Awards; and a month after the site shattered
the million-pageview mark for the first time, clocking in at 1.3 million
pageviews and 222,000 visits for April, 2006.

“We’re ecstatic to be getting so much positive feedback so quickly,”
said Mike Orren, Pegasus News’ president and co-founder. “Considering that all
of the other finalists in the EPpy Awards are affiliated with traditional media
companies and that we’re a startup fueled by a volunteer staff along with
user-generated content, I was shocked that we were even nominated.”

Pegasus News is an
angel-funded hyperlocal multimedia company that will launch its full product offering
focused on the Dallas / Fort Worth area later this year. “That
product,” Orren said, “will provide each user individualized local content that
we call ‘The Daily You™.’ Imagine your child’s youth soccer score on the same
page with the Dallas Mavericks’ score; your neighborhood crime report on the
same page as the city council meeting; and your teenager’s school play reviewed
right alongside the national touring concert. And then imagine that the
advertising is equally targeted.”

Once Pegasus News
launches, TexasGigs will become its
entertainment section.

“Relaunching TexasGigs
was a classic example of a startup calling an audible,” Orren said. “We had
much of our technology and key staff in place, but lacked the resources to
launch Pegasus News as a regional
news product that we felt had enough depth to take significant market share. In
late November, we met Cindy Chaffin, who had an award-winning local music blog
that she wanted to take to the next level. We pooled our resources and produced
the new site in five weeks, from conception to launch.”

TexasGigs features
profiles on over 1,000 local bands and 4,000 local musicians; more than 1,000
songs by local bands (both mp3s and streaming radio); more than 300 podcast
episodes; more than 100 videos; and more than 700 weekly interactive event
listings, most complete with links to band profiles, maps, and audio. All of
this content was gathered and created by a volunteer staff (6 full-time and 12
part-time). Users post comments, submit band profiles, write reviews and post
photos that supplement staff contributions.

“This is ‘long tail’ content that drives a passionate
audience,” Orren said. “We had 850 different local band pages with more than 75
views each last month. Users have left more than two thousand comments, and
more than two thousand topical photos have been posted to the site via a Flickr
tag.”

In April, TexasGigs
teamed up with the Dallas Mavericks to host a competition to create a playoff
theme song for the team. On a week’s notice, 19 bands entered original songs.
After 24,000 fan votes and a celebrity panel vote were cast, local hip-hop act
PPT’s song “Rowdy, Loud and Proud” was declared the winner. Although the
contest was a significant traffic driver, Orren says that the site would have
broken the million-pageview barrier even without that boost, and that the site
has retained more than one-third of the fans who voted as regular users.

"The playoff song
contest was a great way to rally our fans and the local music community,”
said Matt Fitzgerald, Mavericks Senior Vice President for Marketing and
Communications. “We were amazed by the quality of the songs TexasGigs brought in and the amount of
local buzz that was built online in a very short time."

According to data from Alexa.com, TexasGigs is already outpacing all DFW-area entertainment sites in
terms of pageviews. It is also seeing far more pageviews than other, more
heavily-funded hyperlocal media companies.

The company currently offers web, email and cell phone
advertising on a pay-per-pageview basis, and runs campaigns that change on a
daily basis for many advertisers. “Some local clubs run a different ad for
every day of the week and focus on specific genres, and we’re the only ones accommodating
that kind of targeting,” Orren said. The site is currently running a promotion
in which one early-adopter of advertising will win free advertising on Pegasus News sites – forever.

Once Pegasus News
launches, the company plans to migrate to a pay-for-performance model,
leveraging registered card technology to monetize sales whether they take place
online or in a local bricks-and-mortar store. “There is a lot of excitement in
the market from the businesses we’ve talked to about this,” Orren said. “The
prospect of getting highly-targeted local advertising that is free unless and
until a sale occurs is very attractive.”

The company plans to expand TexasGigs in June, adding other non-musical entertainment content.
The launch of Pegasus News is slated
for later this year. Orren said, “The only thing keeping us from setting a firm
date at this point is the need for more hours in the day and more hands at the
wheel.”

–30–

Contact:

Mike Orren, President

mikeorren (AT) pegasusnews.com

214.514.4710

Related links:

TexasGigs: http://texasgigs.com

Pegasus News: http://pegasusnews.com

EPpy Awards: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002539691

Dallas Observer Music Awards: http://www.dallasobserver.com/Issues/2006-05-11/music/music_9.html

Dallas Mavericks Contest: http://www.texasgigs.com/news/2006/apr/04/vote-dallas-mavericks-playoff-song-contest/

Traffic comparison with local sites: http://www.alexaholic.com/texasgigs.com+guidelive.com+dallasobserver.com+quickdfw.com+dmagazine.com?y=p&r=6m&z=6

Traffic comparison with other hyperlocals: http://www.alexaholic.com/texasgigs.com+yourhub.com+backfence.com+bayosphere.com+newwest.net?y=p&r=6m&z=6

Advertising information: http://www.texasgigs.com/about/advertising/

Free advertising forever promotion: http://www.texasgigs.com/blogs/notmusic/2006/may/08/freead/

Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.