“At the end of the day, it’s a bit of a transfer of risk,” he said. “It incentivizes CityGrid to send as high-quality traffic to customers as possible.”
To beef up CityGrid’s CPA resources, the company in August acquired a cost-per-call service for small- and medium-sized businesses called Felix. The company, which was developed by New York software firm Yext, employs the CPA model by charging advertisers only for calls that occur with potential new customers who are likely to buy the product.
The Felix acquisition allows CityGrid to give the cost-per-call advertising option to many of its existing customers and introduces CityGrid to Felix customers in local business categories such as veterinary care and TV repair.
CityGrid’s recent acquisition and ad model change are Finger’s first big moves at the company since he became chief executive in April. He replaced Jay Herratti, a longtime IAC executive, who helped form the company in 2010, when IAC pulled several of its local ad companies under one roof.
IAC tapped Finger because of his experience founding Seamless, a New York website for ordering take-out food and deliveries.
“I believe Jason, with his proven track record of entrepreneurial success in the local space, is the perfect person to drive continued growth and innovation,” IAC Chief Executive Greg Blatt said in a statement at the time.
In his first quarter with the company, Finger has helped boost revenue. For the third quarter, IAC reported that its local division, which includes CityGrid, had revenue of $84.3 million, up 5 percent from $80.1 million in the same period last year. IAC attributed the increase to CityGrid’s acquisition of Felix and higher sales from its reseller partners, while direct sales were down for the quarter.