Report: Local Web advertising will pass local print advertising next year

Borrell Associates
Is it time for the Internet to declare victory? A Borrell Associates report out today says local Web advertising will pass local print advertising next year. Online spending was up 21 percent in 2011.

“If the digital growth spurt continues through 2013,” the report says, “online media will hold the largest share of local advertising, toppling newspapers for the first time in history.”

But: 12 of the 15 top sites the report names were pure commerce operations; only three — Gannett, the New York Times Company, and TC (Transcontinental) Media — offered both news and commerce. It’s not all bad news for the legacy media: “The average newspaper website last year made nearly $2.2 million, a nice supplement to its wilting print product line,” the report says. “The average TV station made $858,000 and continued to see healthy growth as more people turned to digital media to watch video – even the local news. Cable systems, the upstart on the playing field, averaged $674,000 per market, though many of them still weren’t selling a dime of online advertising at the end of 2011. Radio clusters averaged $445,000 in website revenues and lost market share.”

“Of the top 15 companies making money from local online advertising last year, all but 3 had a commerce-centric focus,” says Borrell Associates report.

Borrell used numbers from its own large databases of media revenue and business spending plus surveys of “media executives and local advertisers” to write the report. || Related: Paul Smalera says the recession saved journalism (Reuters)

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