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My former colleagues at Borrell Associates have carved out a unique role in the local online advertising space with their annual survey of local media revenues. This year is the survey’s fifth, and was conducted with 2,885 properties in the U.S and Canada.
What Borrell found was cumulative local online revenues of $7.5 billion, with 31.6 percent growth (compared to 20.7 percent for national online advertising). Within the local ecosystem, newspapers account for 35.9 percent– which is impressive, but down, percentage wise, by several points. Pure play Internet companies have 33.2 percent, and Yellow Pages have 11.7 percent. Other local revenues come from “Other Print,” including Shoppers and other local magazines, which have 9.2 percent; TV stations, which have 7.7 percent; and radio stations, which have 2.2 percent.
Dedicated, online-only sales people were up 26 percent in 2006, and Borrell sees budgets for an additional 35 percent in 2007. “Some of the largest local sites are now employing two dozen or more online-only salespeople as they migrate from the up-sell model and begin to fully embrace Web-only sales,” says Borrell. “The median gross revenue per online-only salesperson was $278,570; the largest sites were seeing triple that rate.”