Sizing the Hyperlocal Market
Digital media pioneer—and GrowthSpur senior advisor—Jeff Jarvis has an interesting post in his Guardian column describing some of the findings of a study by his New Business Models for News Project at CUNY. Upshot:
Some hyperlocal bloggers, serving markets of about 50,000 people, are bringing in up to $200,000 a year in advertising. These are sustainable businesses and we believe they are critical elements of the future of local news.
Moreover, the CUNY research shows that these early success stories probably won’t be outliers:
After three years, we project that a blogger could hire editorial staff and advertising help – citizen salespeople who help support the citizen journalists – and net $148,000 out of $332,000 revenue. That’s a conservative estimate when you consider that a community weekly paper in such a town probably earns between $2m-$5m.
GrowthSpur’s assumptions are similar. We believe that a combination of local ad networks, smart tools and good sales training can make local community sites into good revenue generators, at $100,000 or more per year. CUNY’s projections are higher, but we erred on the conservative side. That said, we don’t have any quibble with the CUNY estimates.
For the thousands of hyperlocal sites and local blogs already in existence—and the thousands more to come—we believe that there’s a viable business. You just have to know where to find it. GrowthSpur is here to help.