Blog Post

The Big Portals’ Battle For Local

The local space is heating up, with the number of hyperlocal news startups growing by the month and the big-three portals also doubling down. Given their big traffic numbers and financial might, it’s with the big portals that things could get interesting. AOL (NYSE: TWX), MSN and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) have all talked loudly about wanting to attract a bigger share of local online advertising dollars — a market that is expected to grow 12 percent this year alone. But the big players are going about it in different ways. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and Yahoo are both building pages that customize aggregated information depending on a user’s location, while AOL is also going for original content.

Below, a look at what each company offers, what it is promising for the future, and where it could run into trouble.

MSN:

Approach: U.S. MSN Executive Producer Scott Moore tells us the local space is still too patchwork.

3 Responses to “The Big Portals’ Battle For Local”

  1. gordonborrell

    Terrific topic! “Local” may be the only advertising growth opportunity left for Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and Google (which you omitted, but I would still classify it as a portal). I have a much different take on Yahoo, however. It has jumped headlong into the local space with partnerships with newspapers that involve content and cross-selling. Very interesting growth in this area. We’re tackling the issue at our conference in NYC in February in a afternoon-long session called “Partnering with the Portals.” I think you’ll see more and more of these types of local media partnership deals (as opposed to the portals trying to go it alone, which I don’t think will work at all).