BIA/Kelsey, an advertising/marketing consultancy, has released a list of trends it sees as important in its areas of interest including radio broadcast, mobile, interactive media and Yellow Pages-style directories.
Local radio broadcasters, BIA/Kelsey stated, "have three incredibly valuable assets: local brands, local content and local sales forces … Expect to see some creative broadcasters bringing these assets together in very compelling business models" this year.
It also predicts the return of a competitive search market: "The next two years will fundamentally alter the local media market landscape," it believes, thanks to changes in advertiser behavior produced by the recent economic problems. Its analysts say traffic acquisition costs will start to rise. "If AOL moves to the Bing camp, the 'tri-search-fecta' of Bing-Yahoo-AOL brand would be a competitive one."
Technology trends and other factors will "affirm the core role mobile will play in the $140 billion local media industry," it believes. The company's analysts predict "location and geotargeted advertising will represent a long-elusive revenue stream for Twitter and for third parties that mash up Twitter streams and location data. Also expect Facebook to integrate automatic location detection into the status updates that have become central to its user experience."
BIA/Kelsey expects mobile monetization to take hold as Yellow Pages publishers try to diversify revenues and remake their sales operations. "Look for publishers to begin testing discrete monetization paths for their mobile search products. These will range from discrete landing pages to pay per call. The dollars will be small, but publishers will want to see how they are embraced by the sales channel and reps. They will also want to understand which approaches deliver value and which do not."
And, the company believes, "hyperlocal" offerings will begin to make money for ad networks: "Despite the general devaluation of ad networks and the impact of a poor economy, BIA/Kelsey's Marketplaces analysts believe vertical ad networks hold a great deal of promise. … New vertical combinations could provide a certain amount of sustaining revenues from emerging players, such as networks of hyperlocal sites and local/lifestyle networks."