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It’s sure sounding like the swan song for printable coupons at what was, up to now, the internet’s largest printable coupon provider.

Coupons.com owner Quotient Technology is shutting down its Brandcaster coupon affiliate program, which allows retailers, bloggers and websites like Coupons in the News to provide links to printable coupons and coupon galleries displaying all currently available offers. “After June 30, 2022,” publishers have been informed, “all placements and coupon galleries… will cease to display or register coupon prints.”

The news does not necessarily come as a surprise, since it follows Quotient’s announcement a couple of months ago that Coupons.com itself will be shutting down later this year, to be replaced by a revived Shopmium cash-back app. When asked at the time whether the retirement of Coupons.com meant the retirement of the print-at-home coupon format, Quotient offered vague reassurances, telling Coupons in the News that “to the extent shoppers want printable coupons we intend to provide them.”

When asked, however, whether the end of Brandcaster now signals a change in that approach, or whether Quotient has determined that shoppers do not, in fact, still “want printable coupons,” Quotient had no further comment to offer.

Coupons.com launched in 1998, but it wasn’t until ten years later that the company introduced Brandcaster. It was a somewhat revolutionary idea at the time. “Brandcaster moves coupons beyond the coupon section, reaching a broader audience and offering brands the opportunity to engage… a new generation of internet-centric consumers,” the company announced in 2008. The program was envisioned as a way to “take the search out of savings, bringing consumers the offers they want on the sites they already visit.”

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Until Brandcaster came along, the only place you could find Coupons.com printable coupons was on the Coupons.com website itself. Brandcaster enabled Coupons.com to reproduce its printable coupon galleries on thousands of member websites, allowing shoppers who visited grocery store websites, online newspapers or coupon blogs to access and print coupons during their visit instead of having to leave the site and make a special visit to Coupons.com.

Brandcaster also allowed affiliates to link to specific coupons, in something of an early version of targeted offers aimed at uniquely engaged audiences. A recipe site, for example, could link to a printable coupon that happened to be available for a particular ingredient. “Someone looking at a web page about healthy food might be offered a coupon for organic milk,” an Associated Press article about the program further explained. “It’s the same idea behind the text-based ad links that Google displays alongside search results and other information at hundreds of thousands of web sites.”

Through Brandcaster, “Coupons.com shares revenue with the publishers, so in addition to providing valuable money-saving content to visitors, publishers can monetize traffic to their sites,” the company explained. So it was a win-win for everyone – Coupons.com and its advertisers got a lot of extra exposure, as publishers earned a little extra for helping to publicize Coupons.com’s offers.

But digital coupons, and the ability to target individual shoppers with relevant offers, have evolved in recent years. Increasingly, Quotient has been focusing on digital advertising and paperless offers, including retailer-specific load-to-card digital coupons, and now cash-back offers. Quotient acquired the Shopmium rebate app back in 2015, incorporated many of its features into the Coupons.com app, and now plans to replace Coupons.com altogether with the return of Shopmium itself.

“This is part of Quotient’s continued strategy to provide ease and convenience of savings to shoppers as the shopping trip becomes more digital,” Quotient told Coupons in the News. The shift from Coupons.com to Shopmium “will bring together the best of digital coupons and rebates, as well as the engaging consumer experience that the Shopmium app offers.”

So watch for the return of Shopmium sometime in the months to come. In the meantime, browse the Coupons.com printable coupon gallery, and keep up with the latest listings of the newest printable coupons – while you still can.

3 Comments

  1. Benjamin Salkin says:

    Too much coupon fraud on printable coupons. I had to have a customer arrested for making copies of printable coupons. It had the same number in the right hand corner.

  2. Sarah Spencer says:

    This is only about brandcaster not coupons.com as a whole. Which have no plans on stopping printable coupons.

  3. This is potentially terrible news. My local paper gets terrible paper coupons, we don’t even get Save inserts. At least with coupons.com, I can get the paper coupons I should have received at home.

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