Yle Media Startup Accelerator Themes, part 2: Local media. In the coming weeks we’ll feature some of the themes at Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program and share some interesting things that have caught our attention. See also the list of the themes on the application page
Local newspapers seem to be shrinking or even dying everywhere. Still, the need for local information and content is probably as evident as it ever was. Facebook and other digital services have changed the landscape thoroughly, but there will be opportunities for many kinds of local media services.
When talking about local media, there’s been a lot of talk about big ideas, such as, citizen journalism, but in reality “local” seem to have been driven by check-ins and occasional reader submitted picture you see as part of a news story. Certainly, there are good examples of local media services that have successfully made the transition from paper to digital. Services, such as white/yellow pages or restaurant guides have become even more relevant and useful when they were brought to digital. When was the last time you checked a restaurant from a paper book? Or maybe you’ve already tried local, peer-to-peer marketplaces, such as Neighborgoods or Sharetribe?
Sure, many well-publicized attempts to create local and hyperlocal media services have so far been unsuccessful (e.g., Patch). Still, many believe that local and regional media has hope and many kinds of opportunities. Many of these services will be driven by advertising, but how and by whom will it be made practical even for the long-tail, ie. the small barber shop that want to advertise for the last minute opening.
Again, new technology may enable new opportunities also for the local media offering. For example, wearable tech will make the hyperlocal content more targeted and much easier to access.
Anyway, I have a feeling that no one has really cracked the local media honeypot, yet. Be it citizen journalism, local info, community news/sharing/etc., local advertising media, the field is still wide open for new innovations that the customers will love.
Do you have a great idea for a local media service? Remember to apply for the Yle Media Startup Accelerator by August 15th.
– Topi Järvinen (twitter.com/topij)