“I’m not sure [OTT] will be a bigger thing in five years than it is today,” the broadcast group CEO says. He adds that he’s focused on providing marketing services in all forms to local business. “At our base, we are a local service business,” he said. “Local businesses are crying out for help here” and Nexstar wants “a larger share of their wallet than just their ad dollars.” Read full coverage of the Borrell Local Online Ad Conference here.
The CEOs of GateHouse Media, Townsquare Media and The Dallas Morning News framed out their companies’ respective futures at Borrell Associates’ conference on Tuesday, and digital was the cornerstone common denominator. A look at how Kirk Davis, Steven Price and Jim Moroney see digital diversification as fundamental to their long-term strategies.
The founder, CEO and chairman of Nexstar Broadcasting Group received Borrell’s Award of Merit in recognition of his aggressive approach to building out Nexstar’s digital operations, including the acquisition of various digital publishing, video advertising, mobile and programmatic platforms.
The message was clear to local media companies: The future “will be about screens and storytelling, not about radio and television and digital,” CBS Local Digital Media’s Ezra Kucharz told attendees at Borrell Associates’ Local Online Advertising Conference. Sinclair’s Rob Weisbord was more blunt, “If you don’t embrace multichannel distribution, you’re dead.”
TV is expected to be the next medium to adopt programmatic ad buying and that will be a boon to broadcasters, says Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser. “There are going to be different advertisers who can make use of TV who otherwise wouldn’t have,” he says. “The ability to apply more data to the buy could make it possible to find new marketers looking to buy in a very different way.”
Local media’s digital competitors are facing upheavals of their own, according to experts speaking today at the Borrell Local Online Ad Conference. The yellow pages space, in particular is predicted to be headed toward massive consolidation, according to Walsh Partners’ Joe Walsh.
Academic Clay Christensen, Greater Media’s Peter Smyth and Gray Television’s Robert Prather emphasized that every employee’s input is valuabe to traditional media companies wanting to make a smooth and successful transformation into digital media companies: “What you want to do is create the environment where people have the ability to think,” Smyth said.
Mobile Marketing Association CEO Greg Stuart noted that right now there are 1.5 billion computers, along with 1.8 billion smartphones and 5.5 billion cellphones, and said “Mobile is the missing link for marketers.”
Christine DiStadio, KHOU Houston director of digital media, told attendees at the Borrell Associates Local Online Advertising Conference that having the ability to help clients tie together online, mobile and social media in a way that has meaning for them is key to her TV station’s success in the digital space.
Two keys to creating a robust online presence are giving your audiences and advertisers what they want and keeping things personal, according to three of the biggest names in the local online business — AT&T Interactive, Autotrader.com and CityGrid Media.
Borrell Associates executive VP Kip Cassino predicts that by 2015, 26% of all local ad dollars will be spent online, pushing digital local ad revenue past traditional media for the first time.