Posted February 26, 2014 6:25 pm by with 0 comments

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The internet does a great job bringing people together from all over the world, but we still have a need for local news. For local newspapers, it’s been a rough road of late. According to Pew’s 2013 State of the News Media Report newspaper readership has been on a slow, but steady decline.

Pew ReadershipAnd what happens when readership falls off? Ad revenue follows.

Pew state of news mediaIn order to make up for the decline in print advertising, news outlets have no choice but to pick up the slack with online advertising. But as you can see from this chart, online is far, far away from matching what was lost.

This is all hard enough if you’re the New York Times, but when you’re The Day Connecticut or the Barstow Desert Dispatch it’s even tougher. Sure the NYT has to make more money to keep the presses rolling but they have a bigger budget and maybe more importantly, they have a dedicated sales staff. Small papers are small businesses which means every employee has to wear many hats.

In order to help level the playing field, Google just entered into a deal with the The Local Media Consortium that will effect more than 800 daily newspapers and 200 local broadcast outlets. The 3-year agreement has Google creating a private ad exchange that is scaled to accommodate the needs of these local media companies.

Here’s the run down:

— A Powerful Private Exchange — The Local Media Consortium will launch a new private ad exchange, powered by DoubleClick Ad Exchange technology. Programmatic buying is attracting growing budgets (analysts predict 75% growth in 2014). With 10 billion monthly impressions of top quality video and display inventory, this new exchange will enable the consortium to engage with the growing number of national advertisers and agencies investing in programmatic channels and looking to reach audiences at scale.

— The DoubleClick Platform — Members will also have access to DoubleClick for Publishers, our widely used ad management platform that lets publishers easily and efficiently manage their digital ads business, across desktop, video and mobile inventory.

— AdSense Contextual Ads — Through AdSense, all members will also have the option to run contextually matched ads on their sites and search results (powered by Google Custom Search).

This isn’t just good news for local media. Big brands are going to benefit, too because the news isn’t going away. Sure, they’ve had some growing pains, but Rick Edmonds of Poynter points out, daily newspaper circulation is up 3% year-over-year and that’s entirely due to digital growth. 3% isn’t much but it’s growth, so we’ll take it. Now mobile is taking over and in the next few years we should see a huge increase in the number of people who get the majority of their news from an app on their phone.

Thanks to this new deal with Google, it sounds like local media outlets will be in a position to handle all the digital business they can get.

Hooray for the little guy.