Two-thirds of U.S. consumers visit hyperlocal news sites within their area, according to a recent Street Fight poll, with 9% visiting multiple times per day, 26% visiting on a daily basis, and another 16% doing so weekly. Almost 34% report never visiting a hyperlocal news site.
The 500-person survey, conducted on behalf of Street Fight by third-party opinions site Toluna QuickSurveys, reveals an avid and growing reader base, and one that turns to hyperlocal sites not just for news but offers and local business information as well. The results may underscore the potential of new revenue streams for local publishers struggling to monetize the space.
According to our results, 73% visit hyperlocal sites for news about their cities, and 25% visit for news about their immediate neighborhoods. 28% visit for deals from local businesses, 16% for business information and 10% for bulletin boards. As long as hyperlocals continue to resonate among local consumers, they could further develop as an alternative marketing service for local merchants (even though Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, told Street Fight in August that “advertisers don’t want to be around local news”).
For business owners, our results illustrate an engaged audience that seemingly welcomes messages from local merchants.
The results come as some hyperlocals look to broaden their services to merchants — on the heels of its 100% year-over-year increase in Q2 revenue announced earlier this summer, Patch CEO Tim Armstrong said in an earnings call he expected the AOL network to play more heavily a role in the “direct commerce front.”
Patrick Duprey is an editorial assistant with Street Fight.