Local Online Media Offer Significant Ad Advantage

August 25, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Magazines | Newspapers | Retail & E-Commerce | Television

Consumers trust advertising on local newspaper, magazine and television websites, and are very likely to take action after viewing ads on these sites, according to the “Local Online Media: From Advertising to Action ” study by the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

The new OPA report looks at consumers who get local information from online city guides, classifieds, magazines, newspapers, portals, television sites, user review sites, or yellow pages.

Consumers on all three types of local media sites – newspapers, television stations and magazines – are more likely to take action after viewing a local ad than visitors on all other local content sites.

Newspapers rank first, with 46% of consumers taking action – including making a purchase, going to a store, conducting research – after viewing a local ad, compared with 37% of consumers acting after viewing a local ad on a portal:


Moreover, consumers on local media sites are desirable advertising targets, OPA said:

  • Local magazine, newspaper and TV sites attract significant percentages (48%, 40% and 39%, respectively) of consumers who had spent more than $500 online in the previous 12 months.
  • 37% of portal visitors and 34% of the overall online population spend this amount in a year.

Additional findings issued by OPA:

  • Trust is another important factor driving advertising success, and consumers express significant faith in advertising on local content sites: Newspaper sites lead the way, with 56% of visitors expressing strong trust of the advertising found on these sites, followed by local TV station sites and portals.


  • Beyond advertising, satisfaction with local content is high overall, and portals and media sites each have strengths. Portals lead in satisfaction among all local content visitors, followed by local newspaper and TV station sites.
  • However, local media sites have a significant lead over portals among frequent visitors (79% satisfied with local TV sites; 77% satisfied with local newspaper sites); 65% of frequent visitors to portals are satisfied.
  • A common trait of local online content sites is the ability to attract high concentrations of influencers:
    • While 10% of consumers are considered “Influentials” according to research done by GfK Roper, 29%% of local online content site users say they are the first person people come to for recommendations about local restaurants and bars.
    • Meanwhile, 26% of local online users say they are the first person people come to for local shopping recommendations, 23% for local entertainment recommendations, and 23% for local consumer electronics recommendations.

The study?(pdf), which was conducted for the OPA by JupiterResearch, surveyed 2,069 local online content consumers selected randomly from NPD’s online consumer panel.

“With strong brands and trusted environments, local media sites deliver concrete results for local advertisers,” said OPA president Pam Horan. “Our analysis of the Jupiter data finds that consumers are more likely to act on the ads they see on local TV, newspaper and magazine sites. Just as we see on a national scale, media sites outpace portals and all other online media at delivering meaningful advertising results.”

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