Local revenue growing, but fragmenting, too

Terry Heaton writes about Media 2.0, which is increasingly about local media with lots of pure-play entrants. He warns that they will disrupt local broadcasters (Heaton focuses on television).

Everywhere I look, I see new businesses springing up that are built to appeal to people at the local level, and this is a very dangerous proposition for incumbent local media players — many of whom think we have time to sort all of this out. We don’t.

Heaton notes that sites like Outside.In have a lot of ground to make up to establish themselves.

However, the aggregate of all these players could siphon local ad dollars. Of course, they will also create new markets, which creates new opportunities for incumbents.

Heaton’s right that the time to act is now.

And keep in mind, Heaton is writing for station owners. On the Web there is no such thing as broadcast and print. It’s all digital. So however big the local dollar pie might be, TV, radio, newspapers and the start ups are all going after the same market. Where broadcast used to compete in a complimentary way (some advertising works better in print, other in broadcast), now local media companies either need to realize it’s a vicious competition with little room for mariginal success, or find ways to cooperate. Co-existence may be hard in the long run.

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