Local.com Launches Premium National-Local Ad Network

Local.com FusionOver the years Local.com has done quite a few things seeking revenue and momentum. It has historically relied heavily on an arbitrage strategy built on SEO and paid-search to drive traffic to its flagship local search site. And though it has gradually build more direct traffic much of its traffic still relies heavily on third parties (read: Google).

Local.com has also offered a wide range of B2B marketing and advertising services. It acquired and later sold a rich media display ad platform (Rovion). It bought local-inventory site Krillion (which it still owns). It bought a newspaper-centric ad/local directory network. It acquired a deals product, Spreebird, whose value has now been substantially written down. It developed but has now largely backed away from an SMB marketing direct-sales business, which offered a suite of services including web hosting, SEO, display, mobile, social media and lead-generation.

Despite this apparent state of flux (or evolution if you prefer), Local.com is still chugging along and anticipates a strong 2013, based in part on cost cutting.

Most recently the company launched what it’s calling “Fusion by Local,” a “premium publisher” ad network consisting of its regional and local newspaper sites and other sites. Local.com says there are more than 1,000 publishers in the network. Here’s how the company describes it:

National and regional brands that are looking to advertise locally are increasingly seeking premium ad positioning for their campaigns near relevant content, with high quality publishers and media sites.

Fusion by Local offers both, by combining its unique, precision-based targeting for audiences with premium advertising inventory that takes the manual process out of local buying. It also eliminates the time and resource-intensive process for advertisers of contacting publishers, negotiating multiple contracts, submitting insertion orders and tracking performance metrics for each media property. Fusion by Local offers a variety of standard and customized ad units across various ad formats, including mobile and rich media, through a single integrated process with one point of contact.

The ad network is positioned as a way for regional publishers to gain access to national marketing dollars and for national advertisers to reach high-quality local audiences. This is almost exactly the same value proposition of the former Real Cities, which was owned by McClatchy, Gannett and Tribune Co. and was one of the first attempts at a national-local premium ad network. Real Cities was eventually sold to Centro and shut down.

Beyond its existing local newspaper-site publisher network I asked Local.com to identify some of the publishers participating in Fusion. The company told me:

We are building relationships with regional media in markets throughout the U.S., as well as leveraging media properties in our publisher network.

Because we just launched, we don’t have authorization at this point to name these media sites by name, but as an example we’ve been working with some of the local broadcast stations in the L.A. market.

Local.com may be able to drive new revenues through what is essentially a rebranding and repackaging of its newspaper network, with biz dev working to expand its scope. However mobile is a missing component and the company would do well to organically expand into that area or buy an LSN Mobile or comparable second-tier mobile network to give it local-mobile reach.

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2 Responses to “Local.com Launches Premium National-Local Ad Network”

  1. Marketing Day: April 2, 2013 says at

    […] Local.com Launches Premium National-Local Ad Network, Screenwerk […]

  2. Street Fight Daily: Google Upgrades Places, PlaceIQ Tracks In-Store Visits | Street Fight says at

    […] Launches Premium National-Local Ad Network (Screenwerk) Greg Sterling: Despite its apparent state of flux (or evolution if you prefer), Local.com is still […]

  3. Paul Benjou says at

    National brands are missing a huge opportunity. A presence on hyper local media for big brands goes a long way to encourage local loyalty. The door is wide open form national brands to make a media killing. 

  4. Greg says at

    I agree that it’s a major opportunity that has largely been missed to date.

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