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If a new printable coupon is offered, and no blog or website is able to tell you – will anyone actually know about it? It may sound like the couponing equivalent of a philosophical thought experiment. But we will soon get an answer, because that very situation has now become reality.

As it announced earlier this year, Coupons.com owner Quotient Technology has now officially ended its Brandcaster affiliate program, which allowed coupon blogs and other websites to host printable coupon galleries, promote individual printable coupons and include them in weekly ad matchups, in exchange for a small fee per coupon print. The arrangement allowed Coupons.com to reach a broader audience, while allowing publishers to highlight relevant individual offers to readers.

For publishers, the end of the program means they lose access to a regular flow of information alerting them to new coupons as they’re added, which they can then pass along to their readers. It also means a reliable revenue source that helped keep their websites up and running is drying up. And for website visitors, it means many of their favorite sites will have a difficult time alerting them to new print-at-home coupons anymore.

For now, at least, publishers working with some third-party affiliate programs are still able to continue linking to new Coupons.com offers, as those programs have not yet been deactivated (which is what made this new printable coupon roundup possible).

While most websites won’t be able to directly promote its printable offers anymore, though, the good news is that both the Coupons.com website and app are sticking around – for a while longer.

“Coupons.com is active and available for shoppers to continue to earn cash back on a wide variety of products, and we plan for it to remain available throughout 2022,” Quotient said in a statement to Coupons in the News.

The long-term plan, as Quotient announced separately earlier this year, is to retire the Coupons.com website and app, and replace them with a revived and revamped Shopmium cash-back app. Shopmium is currently available in Europe, but was last available to U.S. shoppers back in 2017. Quotient didn’t initially offer a timeline on when to expect all of these changes to take effect, but once Brandcaster was given a definitive end date, it seemed to suggest that all of the changes might happen at the same time.

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Instead, the only thing that’s now ended is Brandcaster. The other changes are still in the works. “We are working hard on our plan to bring Shopmium and its rich set of features to the U.S., with the launch planned for later this year,” Quotient explained. “We’ll have more information about the future of Coupons.com in the coming months.”

In the years after Extreme Couponing turned coupons into a craze more than a decade ago, a number of grocery savings sites and coupon bloggers grew tired of the grind and stopped sharing grocery deals and new coupon alerts. Today, as grocery deals are even more difficult to come by, and coupons are not as plentiful as they used to be, the loss of Brandcaster is a blow to bloggers who have stuck with it, through good times and bad.

“Brandcaster has allowed me to make a modest income for my family while helping my readers save money when they didn’t have the money to spend,” DAnna Drake, who runs the website SmartQponClips, told Coupons in the News. “It also paid for the website fees and time to come up with and post the best deals.” Without the revenue that Brandcaster provided, “I will be unable to share the deals people need to support their family. Worse yet, I will not be able to keep paying for the site that brought them the deals, mostly from Tops Markets, that I spent 10 years working on.”

Super-Couponing founder and longtime coupon blogger Jill Cataldo said the changes won’t have as immediate an impact on her, since printable coupons’ heyday ended a while ago. “While Brandcaster coupon prints used to be a regular, and very welcome income stream for my blog for close to 15 years, the reduction of variety in offers and high-value coupons to print also reduced the revenue it was generating,” she said. “I’m sad to see it go, but we know that this industry is always changing.”

In the meantime, whether Coupons.com, Shopmium or some other Quotient site continues to offer printable coupons at all, is still an open question. “Print-at-home coupons will go the way of the dinosaur and the dodo bird before too terribly long,” Quotient’s former CEO told Coupons in the News last year. Quotient later clarified to Coupons in the News that “Quotient has been in the print coupon business since our founding, and to the extent shoppers want printable coupons we intend to provide them.”

The demand for printable coupons is far from what it used to be, however. According to figures from Inmar Intelligence, some 147 million print-at-home coupons were redeemed in 2013. Within seven years, that number had plummeted to roughly 10 million. And newer figures as they become available are likely to show that number declining even further, as since that time, SmartSource joined RedPlum in discontinuing printable coupons altogether, leaving Coupons.com as the last of the longtime printable coupon gallery providers.

So sometime soon, Quotient will introduce a new way to earn cash back on your grocery purchases. In the meantime, at least through the end of this year, Coupons.com will continue offering printable coupons. Many of your favorite coupon blogs and websites just won’t be able to share them all with you anymore. And by 2023, we may find out just how many of today’s shoppers still “want printable coupons” at all anymore.

Image source: Mockuper

One Comment

  1. It’s because a new digital offer is coming. A universal coupon. 8112. POS systems needed an update for retailers ..offered by Qples and The Coupon Bureau.. bye bye fraudulent paper coupons! And no, Coupons.com will not create or offer these new coupons…that’s why they are changing it up..the know they can’t compete again the new 8112 universal offer. Keep your eyes in Grocery Coupon Network website and App.

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