Local TV Online Revenues Up 41%

A new survey by the Television Bureau of Advertising reveals interesting elements about local TV online revenues.

Highlights:

  • Local television’s online advertising revenues were up 41% in 2006 to $399 million (2007: $618 million).
  • Many stations are using the Web as a publishing platform by also offering classified and directory advertising.
  • Seven categories comprised half of all online ad spending (in particular, Real Estate, Health, High-Tech and Automotive).
  • TV station share of the local online ad market was 7% in 2006, up from 6% (+17%) in 2005 and 4% (+75%) in 2004.
  • Local newspaper and radio websites share of local ad revenue declined in 2006. Newspaper sites went from 43% in 2005 to 36% in 2006 (-16%). Radio websites went from 4% of local ad spend in 2005 to 2% in 2006 (-50%).
  • A key driver of growth was video advertising. In 2006, 72% of TV station websites sold video ads, and 80% plan to in 2007.

The report recommends that local broadcasters:

  • rethink the mass-media mentality with an eye toward viewing the Internet as a mass of niches
  • hire a dedicated online sales force
  • give strong consideration to launching a real estate section
  • consider spin-off sites that may not be branded to the station (new verticals)

You can read the 31-page .pdf report here.

(via Broadcasting & Cable and the Television Bureau web site)

What it means: online revenues are starting to be more substantial in local TV but they are still much smaller than what you find in local directories or newspapers. I wonder if it wouldn’t be more efficient for local TV to partner with local radio, newspapers and/or directories to leverage each other’s strengths instead of competing. The critical mass of multimedia content attached to a mashed-up TV/Radio/Newspaper/Directory site might make this a very interesting destination in a hyperlocal context.

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