Pureplays and the 50% Treshold

Here is the latest in my ongoing essay series, Local Media in a Postmodern World.

Pureplays and the 50% Threshold

The business of the online world locally is found in a host of new advertising solutions for businesses of all sizes. The business community is discovering that they can recruit customers directly rather than using the brand marketing tools of traditional media, and this is fostering a huge shift of dollars in the marketplace. Unfortunately for local media companies, these new applications have little to do with us and instead belong to a growing number of venture capital funded Web pureplays who are sucking money from the local marketplace at an alarming rate. That rate crossed the 50% threshold last year, and unless we do something beyond just partnering with them, there will be little money left for us.

This gives me the opportunity to state, once again, that the problem with media today isn’t content; it’s value creation in the revolution that is advertising.


  1. From my experience one of the more interesting figures in Borrell’s pie chart comparisons is local television’s share. From 1.9 in 2004 to 8.7 in 2010 sets the stage for a perspective in the minds of most TV operators. That perspective is that TV is different from other local media when dealing with the changing local media landscape. And that shift in local ad dollars that Borrell documents has provided some reassurance to that perspective. Clearly the story is what pureplays are doing in our local markets. But as any TV operator will tell you, the focus and interest is always next quarter’s revenue. And that 8.7 share of local ad dollars has provided a pseudo-cocoon that is temporarily shielding local TV from all the full harsh realities of the changing local media landscape.

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