We asked Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell & Associates, if he learned anything new at his own conference.
This year, he said a couple of things stood out. Here are some of his insights:
Apple will have a bigger bite
First, keep your eye on Apple News. “I realized it is going to become so much bigger in content and funneling traffic to news sites.” He said media companies ignore this relationship at their own peril as the content feed becomes increasingly popular.
Amazon poses a ‘third wave’ threat that looks more like a tsunami
Second, Amazon is poised to carve a gut-wrenching chunk out of the local advertising market.
“Google was the first wave that kicked-in around 2003 to 2004, washing away about 50% from the yellow page and classified advertising.
“The second wave began in 2013 when Facebook advertising took another $4 to $5 billion from media companies. 70% of local ad revenues now belongs to these two companies,” he said.
“Today Amazon estimates it will earn $38 billion from local businesses by 2023. If this happens there is going to be a third wave that affects media at the local level. That money has to come from somewhere.”
Borrell predicts that this time radio and TV will be hit the hardest.
There is huge interest in audio
Some of the biggest buzz at the conference, Borrell said, was around audio. What will be the impact of voice search? How will podcasting initiatives affect local brands? Audio seems to have a lot of interest from advertisers and gets the newsroom excited. Multiple media are currently experimenting in this space.
Facebook and Google are interested in local news for a reason
Finally, Borrell said he has his own theory about the interest both Google and Facebook are now showing in local news and the future of journalism.
“I don’t think it is all altruism,” he said, or even a PR campaign designed to combat negative publicity over fake news.
Instead, he thinks what these companies are really after are relationships with media that give them an edge as local businesses are shifting their budgets between YouTube and AdWords, Waze and Facebook targeting.
“They are giants, but what they don’t have are salespeople,” Borrell said. “Those 60,000 salespeople are all talking to local businesses every day.”