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The Local Market is Moving - Online


The web is quickly overtaking the classic advertising market system (DMAs) in the United States. While markets were traditionally ranked by size, today, the Internet is quickly taking over and blending all those markets into one.

Greg Sterling over at Sterling Market Intelligence wrote an excellent post on the move to the web -- and what that means for the local market.

"There used to be 210 markets (DMAs) in the United States. Now there is one: The Internet. Of course that’s a radical oversimplification. However all the separate state and local markets that could support lots of TV affiliates, newspapers, weekly shoppers, community publications, radio stations, and directory publishers are essentially disappearing.

The local Internet is comprised of thousands of sites. But few of these sites can make the kind of money that the traditional media companies have historically been able to make. That’s because few of them have the reach online that they had in their respective markets and because of the economics of performance-based advertising, which requires massive scale to pay off.

Think of these traditional media as endangered species in the media ecosystem. And as these players shrink or become extinct “media diversity” (like biodiversity) is compromised.

What prompted me to write this is a Reuters piece that appeared today, which reports on a prediction by investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein that the US Internet would be dominated by “two strong players” (Google, Amazon). This is a drastic and incorrect oversimplification but there may be a directional sense in which it’s accurate."