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Local Online Media Hold Significant Advertising Advantage

August 19, 2008 | By Research Team—DCN

Online Publishers Association Report Finds Ads on Local Media Sites Excel at Delivering Results

New York, NY — August 19, 2008 — Local media sites hold a distinct advantage when it comes to delivering results for advertisers, according to a new report by the Online Publishers Association (OPA). The study finds that consumers trust advertising on local newspaper, magazine and television Websites, and are very likely to take action after viewing ads on these sites.

The results are part of “Local Online Media: From Advertising to Action,” a new OPA report looking at consumers who get local information from online city guides, classifieds, magazines, newspapers, portals, television sites, user review sites, or yellow pages. The study, which was conducted for the OPA by JupiterResearch, surveyed 2,069 local online content consumers selected randomly from NPD’s online consumer panel.

To download the report, please click here.

The report finds differences between media sites and other types of local online content sites when it comes to acting on local ads. 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, as compared to 37% of consumers acting after viewing a local ad on a portal.

Percent of Consumers Taking Action after Viewing Local Ads
Local Newspaper Site: 46%
Local Television Site: 44%
Local Magazine Site: 42%
User Review Site: 39%
Portal: 37%

“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.”

And consumers on these sites are desirable advertising targets. Local magazine, newspaper and TV sites attract significant percentages (48%, 40% and 39%, respectively) of consumers who spent more than $500 online in the past twelve months. Thirty-seven percent of portal visitors and 34% of the overall online population spend this amount in a year.

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.

Moving beyond advertising, the OPA reports finds that 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). Sixty-five percent (65%) of frequent visitors to portals are satisfied.

“Local content sites of all types play an important role in serving the local community. But this report shows that local media sites have a very real advantage when it comes to delivering results for advertisers,” Horan said.

The OPA report also identifies an important common trait of all local online content sites: an ability to attract high concentrations of influencers. While 10% of consumers are considered “Influentials” according to research done by GfK Roper, 29% percent 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.

About the OPA

Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA member sites have a combined, unduplicated reach of 131.7 million visitors, or 73% percent of the total U.S. Internet audience (Source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2007 combined home/work/university data). For more information, go to www.online-publishers.org.