The WSJ is covering the recent Borrell report with a newspaper slant:
Over the past two years, the number of local salespeople peddling online ads for newspapers has ballooned to 15,500 from 5,900, according to estimates from media-research firm Borrell Associates. Traditional media companies have believed strongly that they have an edge over Internet companies because they are based in the communities they serve.
But whatever edge may have existed appears to have evaporated. Newspapers now control only 27.4% of the local online ad market, down from a 35.9% share in 2006, according to Borrell.
There are several reasons why newspapers so far have failed to crack this market. Because online ads are far less expensive than print ads and thus offer lower commissions, it’s difficult to get salespeople to focus on selling the digital products.
The piece discusses increasing competition from all sides and how newspapers are losing print revenues to more nimble competitors who aren’t protecting traditional revenue streams (except YP). The overall report isn’t quite as dire for YP, notwithstanding the sensational title “end of yellow pages.”
There’s a great deal more to discuss here but I’m out the door to the airport.
Backfence co-founder Mark Potts has some reflections on the local online ad sales issue and newspapers.