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Mar 23 2006
My Media Is More Local Than Your Media
Each year I attend a few conferences put on by other companies, both because they tend to have different speakers, but also because it enables me to pick up some ideas that can enhance our events.

Today I went to the 23rd annual Kagan Radio/TV Values & Finance Summit. Robin Flynn, senior analyst for Kagan, was the very competent moderator of this one-day conference attended by about 125 people in New York City.

What was perhaps most striking, and at the same time least surprising, was that the message that came from these broadcast executives was virtually identical to what we hear in the print media. For instance, Jay Ireland, president/TV stations group, NBC Universal, was critical of his industry for its failure to move more quickly and �tendency to do things as we have before.� Ireland lists television�s advantages as reach, relevance, brand, community position and local. Finally he said that television needs to add more resources to the Internet and deliver product in whatever form people want and when and where they want it.

Sounds awfully familiar, doesn�t it?

What was most relevant to our conference coming up next Monday and Tuesday (Drilling Down on Local: Targeting the Online Marketplace in San Jose) is the emphasis on local. Elliot Evers, managing director of Media Venture Partners, told the audience that �radio should be super serving the local populations." Mary Quass, CEO of NRG Media, reinforced that message when she said, �Great local radio is what we do.�

In the next panel on the future of TV, Douglas Kiel, CEO of the Journal Broadcast Group, underscored what many on that panel said in one form or another: We drive local branding to get ratings and we leverage local brands to build our local products.

Not surprisingly, the audience came away with a clear message about the importance of local, both as a threat and an opportunity in the broadcast business. Like Yellow Pages, newspapers or magazines, broadcast media is not going to disappear, and a combination of the healthy cash flow and status of owning a local media outlet, especially in an environment where there is a great deal of private equity money looking for a home, will keep the deal flow healthy.

What will hurt any company and ultimately any industry will be owners whose sole purpose is to take as much cash out of the business as possible.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  John Kelsey at  16:19 | permalink | comments [2] | trackbacks [3]

Mar 23 2006
Slingbox To Go
The appeal of Sling Media's Slingbox is that you can use it to tap into your home television's broadcast feed from remote locations (great for catching a local sportscast if you are on the road). It has introduced the term "place-shifting" to join "time-shifting" in the new media lexicon.

Now it's gotten even more, well, mobile. It used to require a broadband connection and laptop connect to the slingbox that is sitting atop your television many miles away. Now you can do the same thing from a Windows Media mobile phone or a Windows PDA.

This will further infuriate (scroll down required) broadcasters, mainstream content producers and advertisers by disrupting their distribution models. Ironically, it opens up many more opportunities for advertisers to better target viewers by pushing along the adoption curve for content consumption on mobile devices, which some research shows to be pretty steep.

Om Malik has the full scoop. More from the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  15:20 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [2]

Mar 23 2006
Google Base Rears Its Head
Search Engine Journal reports on a few Google Base sightings.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  15:16 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [2]

Mar 23 2006
Google Gets Social
Google has added a social tagging feature to Google Reader. After setting up RSS feeds in the reader, users can tag articles or Web pages and share them with friends via e-mail or syndicate them on a blog.

Just as Google Reader seemed to have been an answer to MyYahoo!, This feature seems to follow Yahoo! down the social tagging path it's attempting to blaze with My Web (and

My Web hasn't been adopted by mainstream users to any large degree, but it hasn't integrated it with its popular My Yahoo! personal portal, which we expect it will do. Google Reader has had even less adoption, so this tagging and sharing feature � as tagging in general has proved to only attract a small segment of early adopters � will have trouble finding users. It is also confusing to set up RSS feeds on Google Reader compared with My Yahoo! and to create tags compared with MyWeb. These will further stand in the way of attracting new users.

Tagging falls under the broader category of social search, which is slowly gaining acceptance and is being touted by many local search sites that wish to infuse social media and community layers into their content. Yahoo! and Google haven't indicated any specific local intentions for social tagging, but they could eventually integrate it with local in ways that let users find ratings and reviews of businesses from within their group of friends, extended friends or any group that has similar geography, interest or professional track.

It requires a certain critical mass of users and contributors to make social search "work" in local, so it will take time. But it can be a powerful tool to build content around local listings that creates a level of trust among users, and thus stickiness.

We're closely watching this area develop. Look out for a forthcoming report on social search; and if you're at Drilling Down on Local next week, don't miss this panel:

Social Search Is the New Black
Almost every new start-up includes a community or "social media" layer. Notwithstanding the success of MySpace (at least in being acquired for lots of money), do these new applications really offer something compelling for the end user or is this just hype and novelty? The Kelsey Group has described social networking/social media as a valuable "online word of mouth" feature that needs to be appended to or integrated into a pre-existing business model. Is "social" really the "future of search" as some have recently argued or merely a fad that will pass in time?

Manish Chandra, CEO and Founder, Kaboodle
Chris DeVore, COO and Cofounder, Judy's Book
Andy Gadiel, CEO, JamBase
Steven E. Marder, CEO, Eurekster
Chris Tolles, VP, Sales and Marketing,
Jeremy Zawodny, Technical Yahoo!, Yahoo!
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  14:30 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [2]

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