Seattle is one of the nation’s most digtal-savvy markets, and its news consumers have high expectations, especially on mobile. Diana Marszalek and Erica Sweeney take a comprehensive digital overview of the city’s major news players — including The Seattle Times, KING and KCPQ — along with how locals show a continued embrace of hyperlocal sites and alternative media.
The Houston Chronicle commands a massive lead in the market’s online readership with a two-site strategy that sees the wealth of its users choosing free, abbreviated content over the depth behind a hard paywall. It’s also executing a multi-front digital revenue strategy with content marketing playing a key role. In this Digital DMA profile, Patrick Duprey takes a closer look at the paper’s efforts and the TV news sites and pureplays chasing behind it.
Philadelphia’s news giants WPVI and Philly.com have had to make room for ever-expanding digital competition. Upstarts like Billy Penn and the digitally-robust Philadelphia Magazine have pushed local TV stalwarts to raise their game amid an ever more fragmented audience.
In 2011, Honolulu’s digital news leader StarAdvertiser.com, the online home of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, put up a paywall. The move turned out to be a boon for its main competitor, HawaiiNewsNow.com, operated by three TV stations, which saw its Web traffic jump and remain strong.
For 10 months, a team of reporters from Gannett-owned NBC affiliate KUSA and Digital First Media-owned Denver Post worked side-by-side on a project that took advantage of both news organization’s journalistic and digital strengths.
Stretched across South Dakota and Wyoming are two DMAs that cover both ends of the spectrum when it comes to making money online. After a year of being more online-focused, and putting up a paywall, The Argus Leader has managed to make 20% of its advertising revenue online, well above the national average. But Young Broadcasting-owned Sioux Falls, S.D. CBS affiliate KELO isn’t far behind its newspaper competition with its KELOLAND.com.
A recent reshuffling in the Washington Post‘s executive suite has brought former Boston Globe chief Marty Baron into the fold and opens the door for the possibility that the Post will adopt the Globe‘s two-site strategy. WaPo remains the DMA’s top online site, but competitors have been busy, with political pureplay Politico climbing over the market’s TV sites to take a firm hold of second place.
The Hearst-owned ABC affiliate, which generates close to 10% of its total revenue from digital, is taking advantage of New Hampshire’s growing online and mobile audience, and outpacing its newspaper, TV and radio competitors with a mix of video, social media, cross-promotion and user-generated content.
New Jersey has no broadcast stations to speak of, relying on New York and Philadelphia for its stations, and two newspaper groups that dominate the online scene — Advance Publications’ NJ.com and Gannett-owned MyCentralJersey.com — making the state fertile ground for a myriad of hyperlocals news sites to fill in the gaps in coverage.
In New York’s hyperactive media market, one hyperlocal pureplay stands above the rest. While The Gothamist has succeeded in pulling in a large audience, most of the market’s pureplays are small shops looking at different ways to generate revenue, including turning back to print. In the final installment of NetNewsCheck’s three-part examination of digital competition in the country’s No. 1 media market, pureplays struggle to find new ways to monetize their sites.
When it comes to building a business online and on mobile, New York’s print media set the standard, not just for the U.S. but the world. While giants like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Daily News pursue national audiences, numerous smaller players have jumped into the void and excel at local and hyperlocal news. In Part 2 of NetNewsCheck‘s profile of digital competition in the country’s No. 1 DMA, a magazine leads in the effort to create a sustainable multimedia business.
In the nation’s No. 1 market, local broadcasters are experimenting with mobile and streaming content in an effort to keep up with their newspaper competition — including giants The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, which have the advantage of drawing traffic from a global audience. Part one of a special three-part Digital DMA examining the complexity of the New York media market. Next week: newspapers.
A tight race for digital leadership has SourceMedia’s ABC affiliate KCRG and its newspaper, The Gazette, in the lead but closely followed by Quincy-owned KWWL. Local digital competitors have been experimenting with online video, user-generated content and social media to engage their audiences.
The tiny corner of Texas in which Brownsville is situated boasts a huge Hispanic population — the 10th largest in the country — and a heady mix of topics important to Spanish and English speakers, from high school football to education to Mexico’s violent drug war. The region’s local online media outlets are turning to innovation to bridge cutures and drive revenue.
Advance Publications’ announcement in May that it was cutting back the print edition of New Orleans’ venerable newspaper The Times-Picayune and expanding digital coverage sent shockwaves through the city, raising a tremendous hue and cry from the daily’s print loyalists. The question now facing “Crescent City” media is whether the market is ready to embrace a digitally-centric news future. But that media isn’t waiting on an answer: Recent weeks have brought announcements of new digital alliances and initiatives, not to mention some cosmetic surgery for the much-maligned interface at NOLA.com.
The Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (or LITE) Center, has lit a digital fire under media properties in Lafayette, La., where a new paywall at Gannett’s Daily Advertiser, some weather apps at KATC and lots of social media are livening up the local online competition.
In Birmingham, Ala., planned cutbacks at the market’s daily, the Advance Publications-owned Birmingham News, have readers turning their attention to the city’s online news outlets, including TV sites, an innovative pureplay and Advance’s own three-paper website.
In Western Michigan, online engagement has long been part of the local media mission. And with local TV sites and statewide behemoth MLive.com — which represents Advance Publication’s area newspapers — all fighting for the market’s online audience, the battle often comes down to who is forging the most resonant connections with users.
When Gannett’s The Greenville (S.C.) News launched its hard paywall in July 2010, traffic dwindled and let the newspaper’s TV competitors take the lead in the market’s online media scene. Earlier this year, the paper switched to a metered model in an attempt to win back readers.
For outsiders, West Palm Beach conjures up images of palm trees and retirees, but the Florida city has a fiercely competitive online scene, with TV stations among the major players. The competition could heat up even further later this year when local daily The Palm Beach Post erects its paywall.
In Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., WNEP leads the way online, but from paywalls to social media and mobile, the market’s newspapers’ are trying new ways to boost revenue, readership and visibility in the television-dominated market.
In a sports-crazy town that can’t get enough of its annual horse race or the exploits of its local college teams, the Courier-Journal‘s recent paywall launch has the market’s TV stations looking for ways to steal its readers away, including WDRB’s hiring away two of the paper’s top sports columnists.
In Colorado Springs, where mainstream media headline the digital scene, social media is the talk of the town. While the market’s TV stations experiment with new social networks Pinterest and Google Plus, market leader The Gazette has stirred up controversy with its social media policy.
In Pennsylvania’s state capital, the scandal that exploded at Penn State involving ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has led to a Pulitzer Prize for local daily The Patriot-News, and all of the city’s online media players — including WHTM, WGAL, WPMT and WHP — are boosting their digital efforts for the resulting trial.
In sports-mad Columbus, Ohio, digital leader Dispatch Media Group is holding fast to the value of its digital products, which include WBNS’ 10TV.com, pricing its e-edition subscriptions the same as print and refusing to lowball its rates. So far, the gamble is paying off.
Paid content models figure to play a big role in the Arizona city in the coming months. Lee Enterprises’ Arizona Daily Star is preparing to roll out a paywall soon as part of a company-wide initiative, while Gannett-owned remnant TucsonCitizen.com — which aggregates news from the company’s other papers — is not expected to create a backdoor around that company’s own paywall efforts.
In Milwaukee, the market’s online leader, the Journal Sentinel, implemented its metered paywall in January and so far has seen digital subscriptions and revenue grow. Coupled with new apps as part of its JS Everywhere initiative, the paper is intent upon keeping its grip on Milwaukee’s digital scene. But WISN, WITI and WDJT are closing the gap.
In Rhode Island’s capital, the traditional media outlets are mired in what one expert calls “an analog mindset,” but a number of small independent startups are willing and eager to fill in the gaps in digital coverage left by the market’s TV stations and newspaper.
In Santa Barbara, Calif., a seamy tale of conflict at local daily the News-Press has left the door wide open for the market’s other media outlets to chip away at the newspaper’s digital audience, and KSBY, KEYT, a rival newspaper and an Internet pureplay have siezed the opportunity.
Memphis, Tenn.’s daily paper the Commercial Appeal has seen its traffic decline 30% since putting up a paywall last December and the city’s TV stations — WHBQ, WMC, WPTY and WREG — are using social media to win over and engage the region’s online population.
In Charleston, S.C., the local media players are bringing new media innovation to the Old South: The daily newspaper is getting ready to put up a paywall, while its competitors, including TV stations, are rolling out apps, mobile sites and innovating ways to gather news, in their efforts to win over audiences and grab a bigger piece of a growing local ad pie.
In the tourism-heavy Florida city, an unusal online alignment has emerged on the TV side: The Gannett-owned NBC and ABC affiliates share a website, as do the Newport Television-owned Fox and CBS stations. Jacksonville’s atypical team-ups have produced some unique approaches to digital content and revenue.
Reno is trying to shed its gambling image and recreate itself as a high-tech hub and local media players in the “Biggest Little City in the World” are helping the cause by doubling down on Twitter and Facebook in their efforts to draw more visitors and win big in the play for digital revenue.
Despite its small size and low affluence, El Paso, Texas, is primed to see its local online ad spending more than double in the next five years. Coupled with a young Hispanic population that is driving mobile and social media, it makes the market a digital must watch.
Greensboro, N.C., flips the usual online media script with the daily newspaper, the News & Record, trailing the market’s three TV news sites. The newspaper is moving aggressively to make up ground, though, releasing a suite of new mobile apps and planning a site redesign for later this year.
In Fresno, Calif., media players are vying for a portion of an online advertising business that is expected to grow 70% in the next three years. While daily Fresno Bee is the market’s leader, TV stations and pureplays are all trying innovative ways to secure a piece of the action.
In Connecticut’s Hartford-New Haven market, local media players are turning to social media to help draw in more visitors — and the strategy is working. NBC O&O WVIT nearly doubled its traffic after enhancing its Facebook presence last year.
Green Bay’s NFL franchise long ago earned the city the nickname “Titletown, USA,” but now the small market’s local media outlets are finding that news and information about the Packers can help them drive big traffic to their sites and open up opportunities for experimentation.
In a market that spreads across 10 cities and has a heavy military presence, two newspapers rule the digital roost, but the area’s TV stations, which expect to see a 65% rise in online revenue by 2015, are trying out new ways to bring more visitors to their websites. Among them is LIN Television-owned WVBT, which has launched an online-only show about the local entertainment scene.
In Charlotte, N.C., media players are prepping for September’s Democratic National Convention and bulking up their social and mobile offerings. While The Charlotte Observer is the market’s top player, three TV sites — WCNC.com, WSOCtv.com and WBTV.com — are scrapping for prominence in a city where players differ sharply on how to use social media to drive traffic.