As many local newspapers are scaling back or no longer publishing, some hyperlocal news and digital companies are making a profit. One of the more successful has been Patch. Patch was founded in 2007 and two years later AOL acquired the company. Under AOL, the company underwent financial difficulties, losing a reported $200-$300 million. In 2014, after AOL laid off one-third of Patch’s employees, Hale Global, a private investment company, acquired a majority ownership.
Today, Patch has over 100 journalists, who post more than 1,000 stories daily covering 1,200+ communities. Each community serves a minimum 30,000 people. Typically, Patch uses one journalist who covers multiple adjacent communities and who produces several stories each day. Readers also have the capability to post and update their own content that allows for comments.
To point out how hyperlocal Patch is, they cover news in 12 Manhattan communities (i.e., West Village-Greenwich Village) and 13 in Brooklyn (i.e., Bed-Stuy). Patch covers such localized information as car accidents, criminal activity, store openings, real estate news, weather or school board information, not generally covered by larger media outlets. Patch does not cover any global news.
Patch says it has been profitable for the past four years, with an estimated annual revenue of over $20 million. One reason for the growth has been the increase in users from eight million in 2015 to 32 million in 2019. According to Axios, in March 2020 page views for Patch grew from its monthly average of 85 million to 148 million. Furthermore, Patch has increased its email list by 40% in the past year with the newsletters reaching the in-boxes of two million readers every morning.
Readers can also access Patch using their app. These stories can be shared on social media or sent to friends via text message and e-mail. The app allows for users to push late breaking news notifications as well as sharing content on social media. The Patch app also allow users to access news from other communities by swiping left or right.
Patch has created a successful revenue model for hyperlocal, realizing the medium needs innovation, collaboration and partnerships. Patch is free to readers and is reliant on other revenue sources besides traditional advertising. One of them is Patch’s Event Calendar, which allows for readers to post local community events. The cost to post locally is free but, typically, readers want to post events across several communities that can run for several days. As a result, the average transaction for a Calendar Event costs around $50 per post. Readers can also re-post, which expands the reach of the audience. Patch has doubled their event listing revenue in the past year.
Another revenue source is classified advertising. This enables readers to post “yard sale” type items they want to sell or donate. Services they are willing to offer such as dog walking or yardwork. Local businesses can also post any promotions or job openings.
Programmatic buying is another important revenue source for hyperlocal. Although as Rick Ducey, the Managing Director of BIA, states, “Hyperlocal sites can get higher CPMs from their own direct selling efforts, but those sales forces are expensive to maintain and have trouble getting to profitability. Putting locally generated impressions into the programmatic marketplace is the most economically efficient thing to do. But then, hyperlocal publishers compete with everyone from Google, Facebook, major publishers, and other local media like radio and TV stations and now OTT streaming video services that offer geotargeting.”
Ducey adds, “While Facebook and Google have been efficient with programmatic ad spending driven by impressions from journalism sites, those sites have also been struggling. As a result, the duopoly has discovered they can’t survive on ad revenue alone and in ‘enlightened self-interest’ — they need their content to drive impressions to monetize— they are offering grants, reduced ad server fees, and other in-kind financial support to assist them via Facebook’s Journalism Project and Google’s News Initiative. These initiatives are especially important with communities seeking more local information on the coronavirus.”
Increasingly, advertisers are interested in hyperlocal media. “Hyperlocal has become immensely popular with advertisers,” Ducey says. BIA recently conducted a survey of companies that advertise in local media that showed 81% of these advertisers use some type of geo-targeting for their advertising efforts. For example, 75% of these businesses say they “occasionally” or “frequently” use “zoned cable ads” where their TV ads air just in specific parts of town. BIA expects mobile ads using location targeting will continue to increase in ad spend from $28.5 billion in 2019 to $50.2 billion in 2024. Location targeted ads in mobile, now at about 36% of total mobile spending, will continue to rise.
There are other hyperlocal media providers that have met with varying success. For example, local television and radio stations have websites and mobile apps that can provide geo-targeting opportunities for advertisers. In addition, established newspapers, city/regional magazines and local directories have online offerings for geo-targeted advertising. Ducey points out, “Many of these hyperlocal sites either are struggling financially and headed to failure, or are subsidized to some extent by their corporate owners.”
There are other companies providing hyperlocal news. One of them is Nextdoor, which relies on neighbors to post local news and events as well as recommendations. Unlike Patch, Nextdoor is global, available in 11 countries. The platform was launched in the U.S. in 2011 and was recently valued at $2.1 billion. In April, McClatchy, a newspaper publisher facing financial difficulties, announced it was launching a new hyperlocal news website in Longmont, Colorado. The initiative, called The Longmont Leader, will be funded by the Google News Initiative and will center on local news/events including community columns written by citizen journalists. Last year, McClatchy launched a similar hyperlocal news website funded by Google in Youngstown, Ohio called Mahoning Matters. More are expected.
Despite the financial success of Patch (after several iterations), hyperlocal from a revenue perspective has been a tough row to hoe. As BIA’s Ducey points out, even though the hyperlocal space has attracted innovative journalism and business models and scaled somewhat in terms of audiences and advertisers, “ultimately, ad revenue alone has proven insufficient to sustain and scale many of these ventures. Audience subscription plans have been tough to scale as a second revenue source.”
Besides the coronavirus pandemic, another news item of hyperlocal interest will be the 2020 elections. Billions of ad dollars will be spent in this election cycle. As campaigns collect more voting information, hyperlocal news will play an important role geotargeting persuadable voters with relevant messaging.
Media Alert: ESG Event for Board Directors Featuring CEO of Bank of America and Founder of World Economic Forum Explores Measurement of Stakeholder Capitalism – Financial Post
Exclusive virtual event on June 16th, hosted by Diligent Corporation, provides insight into ESG, metrics and the board’s role from a powerhouse panel
NEW YORK — As companies continue to focus on long-term value creation in the face of economic recovery, operationalizing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) will be critical. However, with no consistent metrics, disclosures or reporting frameworks, companies and board members struggle to effectively oversee risk, communicate performance, and measure shareholder and stakeholder impact.
Hear directly from the business leaders who are actively seeking to formalize common metrics and how board members can support initiatives for consistent ESG standards. Featuring Brian Moynihan, Chairman & CEO of Bank of America and Chair of the World Economic Forum International Business Council, and Klaus Schwab, Founder & Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, “Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: ESG, Metrics & the Board’s Role” will explore:
- Will the push for stakeholder capitalism accelerate in a post-COVID world?
- What can boards expect with the move towards common metrics and consistent reporting?
- How can boards best navigate the implications for company strategy and governance?
What: Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: ESG, Metrics & the Board’s Role
When: Tuesday, June 16 at 10 AM Eastern
Where: Virtual event link will be sent after registration
RSVP: by Friday, June 12 to confirm participation
Event press inquiries should contact Shana Glenzer, VP Marketing & Communications, at Diligent Corporation: firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.227.2036.
About Diligent Corporation
Diligent Corporation is the pioneer in modern governance, empowering leaders to turn effective governance into a competitive advantage. Leveraging unparalleled insights from a team of industry innovators, as well as highly secure, integrated SaaS technologies, Diligent’s industry-leading suite of solutions changes how work gets done at the executive and board levels. Leaders rely on Diligent to drive accountability and transparency, while addressing stakeholder and shareholder priorities. Its applications also help streamline the day-to-day work of board management and committees, and support collaboration and secure information sharing. Designed for both public and private sector organizations, Diligent is helping to usher in a new era of modern governance.
The largest global network of directors and executives, Diligent is relied on by more than 17,000 organizations and 660,000 leaders in more than 90 countries. With an eye towards inclusivity and accessibility, Diligent serves some of the largest public governing bodies, including more than 50% of the Fortune 1000, 70% of the FTSE 100, and 65% of the ASX.
The Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry's Response and Role in a Society in Crisis – World Economic Forum
In collaboration with Accenture
COVID-19 continues to unfold with a profound shock across the media industry. At extraordinary speed, it has disrupted supply and demand, workforce and business operations, monetization, the industry ecosystem, and the emotional and physical health of the industry’s community. The first priorities have been to adapt to ensure business continuity and support society, workers, and customers.
The Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Culture, has convened C-level executives from the Media ecosystem to identify leading responses to the crisis in the short term, and help build back better in the mid to long term. In the first of a series of papers on what COVID-19 will mean for the media and entertainment industry, this report, in collaboration with Accenture, explores the role of the industry in a society in crisis and how the companies’ efforts can advance recovery for long-term resilience.
REPEAT – Media Advisory: Wednesday, June 3, Ontarians will demand action during the Ford Failed Us Province-wide Day of Action – GlobeNewswire
TORONTO, June 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ontarians are fed up with the Ford government’s failure to support the working people of Ontario, and they will be telling him so on Wednesday, June 3 with the Ford Failed Us Province-wide Day of Action, says the Ontario Federation of Labour.
From taking action in their communities, to sending a letter to their MPP, to asking questions of the Premier in a People’s Question Period, the workers of Ontario will tell the PCs that they have failed Ontarians.
“Before COVID-19, Ontarians were already feeling the damaging effects of PC government cuts. Now, COVID-19 has revealed to everyone just how much this government has failed all of us,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates. “There is a crisis in long-term care and a shortage of personal protective equipment. Not one worker in Ontario has legislated paid sick days, and the province still has an unlivable minimum wage. There is a deep lack of leadership when it comes to ending racism in this province. It’s time for this government to listen to workers and provide decent work, safe and healthy workplaces and communities, strong public services, and equality and justice. The people of Ontario must come first during this pandemic.”
The labour movement and its allies are calling on the government to fix the crisis in long-term care; prioritize workers’ health and safety; implement the promised pandemic premium pay; expand its eligibility and make it permanent; introduce a livable minimum wage immediately with no exceptions; provide permanent paid sick days plus paid days during an outbreak; respect collective agreements, and listen to workers.
“The PCs cannot miss the onslaught of concern being voiced by Ontarians suffering because of this government’s short-sighted policies,” said OFL Secretary-Treasurer Ahmad Gaied. “Ontarians know that the way we will get through this pandemic is by supporting each other, not by counting on big business to offer direction on government policies and long-term care homes.”
The OFL has provided activists with information on social distance actions they can take to send a strong message safely during the pandemic. The OFL will also launch The People’s Question Period on Twitter where Ontarians will ask the Premier a question about building an Ontario for all with the hashtags #PowerOfMany, #PeoplesQuestionPeriod, and #OnLab.
“The Ford Conservatives have failed Ontario,” said OFL Executive Vice-President Janice Folk-Dawson. “Calling front-line workers heroes but not ensuring they have access to life-saving personal protective equipment shows just exactly what this government thinks of workers. We also know that refusals of unsafe work are being denied by the Ministry of Labour. It’s time this government took workers’ concerns seriously.”
The OFL Power of Many is a campaign by the Ontario Federation of Labour and its allies in communities across Ontario, working together to protect and win decent work laws, strong public services, along with equality and justice, as well as safe and healthy communities for all.
OFL President Patty Coates will be available for media interviews by phone or on Zoom on June 3, 2020.
Visuals include Ford Failed Us and The People’s Question Period posters, tweets and video from @OFLabour, and questions for Premier Ford, which can be searched using #PowerOfMany or #PeoplesQuestionPeriod.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
email@example.com l 416-894-3456
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