TKG Data and Analysis: Weekly Recap

In case you missed it, here is a compilation of blog posts from last week from TKG’s Interactive Local Media program. Click below to read each post in full.

The Kelsey Take: Newspapers by the Numbers
Earlier this week, the NAA released its Q1 figures for the financial performance of the newspaper industry. The numbers tell the same old story: Print ad revenues are down, while online revenues saw double-digit percentage growth (although still a drop in the bucket of overall revenues). The numbers are no surprise and also jibe well with TKG data from the most recent User View survey (Wave IV) that show online newspapers rising in use as a source of content (editorial and advertising), while print has declined in this measure. The question isn’t what the numbers show but how (and when) newspapers will react. (read more…)

Live Operators: Soon to Be a Memory?
Jingle Networks’ Free DA service 1-800-FREE411 has discontinued live operators in some locations. Operator expenses in these markets have significantly cut into margins as the overall cost of providing these calls isn’t being offset by the advertising volumes. Free DA services built on automated voice search are also growing in number (see yesterday’s post), which has no doubt provided new perspective to Jingle and others on the financial attractiveness of this model. This move was predicted in The Kelsey Group report Wireless Voice Search: The MultiModal Revolution. (read more…)

10 Takeaways on Mapping From Where 2.0
Maps are the height of the data pyramid. Once they’re populated, everything else (i.e., local search) gets easier. 3D CityScapes are a big part of the future and will drive new types of e-commerce. This is the expensive battlefield that Microsoft and Google are playing on. The end game isn’t to be the destination site, but the platform for thousands of developers. (read more…)

Google Pushes Mobile Maps Through Free DA
After completing a free DA call this week using Google’s newly launched 800-GOOG411, we were asked if a text message was desired in addition to the free voice and “connect me” features (the multi-modal functionality that is standard in a growing number of free DA offerings). But what we also received, interestingly, was a link to a Google map of the location we were looking for. The map provided was part of the WAP-based mobile mapping product that Google has had for a while, but it’s an interesting push of an existing product, and one that brings yet another modality to the rising standards in the free DA space. (read more…)

CBS Joins the Social Networking Scene
CBS announced today that it has acquired London-based social networking site Last.fm for $280 million. The site claims about 15 million monthly users (4 million in the U.S.) and hangs its hat on music video distribution – thought to be a good fit with the traditional broadcast giant. The site also has video distribution in development, in line with the YouTube-esque marriage of social networking and viral video distribution. The price tag for Last.fm is well below Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube and competitor News Corp.’s $580 million acquisition of social network market leader MySpace. In many ways this is in fact a move for CBS to build off its radio, music and television assets to etch out an online presence similar to the way News Corp. has done it with Fox Interactive Media and its darling MySpace. (read more…)

Spot Runner Breaks Ground on a New Vertical
Spot Runner announced a deal today with LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell to distribute spot cable ad creation and buying capability to affiliated law firms. This can be compared to Spot Runner’s deal with Coldwell Banker in the real estate vertical that gives the firm’s far-flung agents immediate access to customize 30-second ads, and use Spot Runner’s cable spot buying dashboard to determine geographic and demographic targeting for where the ads will run. (read more…)

Google to Bring the Carrot and the Stick to AdSense Partners
BizReport.com reports that Google will begin to ax Web sites from its AdSense publisher network that have an unfavorable “ad/edit” ratio (to use a magazine term). Though this seems detrimental to Google’s strategy to extend its reach for brokering ads online (as explored last week), it puts quality ahead of quantity in cutting out the clutter and improving contextual ad relevance by improving the overall content to which those ads are matched. (read more…)

MSFT Makes the Big Apple Searchable in 3-D
Microsoft announced this morning from the Where 2.0 conference that it will add New York City to the list of cities available in 3-D in Live Local Maps. We wrote about 3-D mapping and its possibilities for Local in a previous post. This also follows closely behind other enhancements to Microsoft’s mapping products including 14 other 3-D cities and personalized maps. (read more…)

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