Advertisers and publishers alike have struggled with the repercussions of the pandemic-induced recession. Amidst the turmoil, local media is showing signs of growth and hope ahead.
- National and direct-to-consumer advertisers are increasingly turning their attention towards regional and local audiences.
- Publications in the US such as 6AM City and Whereby.Us, are just some of the locally focused media outlets that have been enjoying the benefits of national advertisers aiming directly for local media.
- Michael G. Reath from Delaware Today said the growth of local advertising revenue is driven by local restaurants, real estate companies, healthcare, and education institutions. Advertising revenue increased 7% in their latest September issue compared to the same one last year.
Hard hit by the pandemic
- Local media has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, with many local publications being forced to layoff staff, cut salaries, and even close down altogether.
- Local advertising revenue in the U.S. is estimated at $144.3 billion in 2020, a 10.6% decrease compared to previous forecasts.
The rebound of local media
Whereby.Us, is a regional publisher that has recently seen an increase in demand from advertisers.
The interest is coming from both local and national brands. Its advertising inventory sold out across its five newsletters, which have over 85,000 total subscribers. The publisher has expanded into several newsletters that now bring its total subscribers to over 200,000.
Why local news?
- Cheaper inventory: Many brands are suffering from reduced budgets as a result of the pandemic. But because the audience size is smaller, local media buys are less expensive than national ones.
- The average advertising deal for 6AM City, a regional newsletter publisher based in southern US states, is around $1 per 1,000 active readers.
- Audience demand: Recent events have reinforced the importance of local coverage. From the Coronavirus outbreak to the upcoming Presidential election, audiences are increasingly searching for updates on a town-by-town basis.
- Connecting with communities: Local media are more connected to their readers that national publications. Brands are turning to them to connect deeper with local communities in order to message their products in the most tailored way.
The roll-up: The scale issue of getting national advertisers to spend on local publications remains a challenge for many small publications searching for advertising dollars. But recent events seem to have made local media more relevant than ever. Advertisers are catching on.