The battle for local

Lost Remote has a great description of the pending battle for local attention and advertising. It’s a great summary of the challenges and opportunities for each media outlet.

  • Television
  • Newspapers
  • Radio
  • “GYM” aka Google/Yahoo/Microsoft et al.
  • Craigslist and paid classifieds
  • Pure play locals
  • City guides
  • Yellow pages and other directories
  • Alt weeklies and local magazines
  • Outdoor

The local market is a huge opportunity. Just evaluating a single player in Canada shows the potential of building a strong advertising business based on helping people find things in their neighbourhood. The Yellow Pages Income Fund reported just over $879.9 million in gross operating profit in 2007 (that’s a total net income of over $527.7 million). The commitment to local focus has seen YPG re-zone their Toronto Yellow Pages to smaller areas to “improve searching and finding both locally and more broadly such as the addition of maps for high traffic retail areas”. YPG has done a great job building partnerships and relationships with regional phone companies and has a circulation of over 30 million copies of their phone directories with approximately 420,000 unique advertisers. There is a huge opportunity to continue to refine the space and services needed by local businesses.

Y Combinator has identified areas like: 12. Fix Advertsing; 20. Shopping Guides and 25. A Craigslist competitor, that they’d be interested in funding. It’s no surprise then to see a plethora of local startups that fit in a variety of the above categories:

I’d love to see an equivalent of EveryBlock for Canada. But until then the recommendations provided by GigPark are enough to help me find services in my neighbourhood.