Stations' local online ad revenue is expected to reach nearly
$1.4 billion in 2010, a 21% improvement over 2009, according to a study
released today by Borrell Associates and the Television Bureau of Advertising
(TVB). While broadcasters are showing improvement over 2009 in just about every
revenue category, last year wasn't too bad for web revenue. Stations rang up
some $1.15 billion in interactive business last year, a 10% boost over the year
before. That sum was nonetheless off a bit from Borrell Associates' 2009
forecast of $1.3 billion, issued at this point last year.
"In a year where the IAB reported flat internet revenues,
the performance of local TV stations is quite stunning," said TVB VP of
Strategic Planning Jack Poor.
Borrell Associates presented findings from its "Benchmarking:
TV Web Sales Defy Gravity, Gain 10%" at the Gannett building in Manhattan this morning. This year's data
focused on 573 TV stations; around 84% of them made less than $1 million on the
web last year, suggesting considerable room for growth. "It's still a small
amount of a station's total revenue," said Borrell CEO Gordon Borrell.
Stations are grabbing online business from print media,
whether it's Yellow Pages advertisers, newspaper classifieds or even couponing.
Newspapers saw their local revenue market share shrink from 27.7% to 23.6% from
2008 to 2009, while broadcast TV grew from 8.3% to 8.7%.
Borrell said local television is in good shape to cash in on
the mobile advertising people increasingly consume on their smartphones and
tablets. At the NAB show last week, a dozen major broadcast groups, including
Gannett, announced a joint mobile DTV initiative. "Mobile is a new and upcoming medium, and
television has a history of understanding new mediums and going after them,"
Local mobile advertising was over $200 million last year,
with broadcast capturing 12% of it. Calling mobile "a new disrupter," Borrell
said that $200 million should "skyrocket into the billions" in two years' time.
The stations whose web revenue represents a good chunk of
their total revenue-say, in the double digit percentages-are the ones who are
thinking of online as its own business, said Borrell, not as simply a marketing
tool for television. "If you stop thinking like a television station," he
said, "you can get to the next level."