Witnessing the rain that has drenched the Bay Area over the past couple of weeks begs the rhetorical question — what could be more local than weather? Now with reports surfacing that weather.com is up for sale, one wonders if any of the major Yellow Pages publishers have their eyes on what is no doubt an intriguing property.
With a price tag of $5b (for the parent company, The Weather Channel) this is not a cheap asset, but to date, weather.com has been unable to build a local advertising business. Imagine a Yellow Pages representative offering local plumbers and roofers and tree trimmers inventory right alongside the latest weather report. For Yellow Pages publishers to garner the requisite volume of unique visitors and build repeat traffic, they’ll have to offer users a reason to be on their site all the time. Weather is something, like traffic, that resonates at the local level.
Someone is going to buy weather.com, but only a few players can ever realize the potential of the local advertising market the way a Yellow Pages publisher can. Now, where’s that raincoat so I can go grab my morning paper?