Matt Sokoloff | Street Fight

With Digital Video, Newspaper Companies Could Disrupt Local TV

Matt Sokoloff

With Digital Video, Newspaper Companies Could Disrupt Local TV

Here’s what I think will happen. The local newspapers that are smart are already getting serious about creating video content. Some of them are beginning to figure out how to get that content to consumers via set-top boxes, and they will be the first to experiment with partnering with companies like Aereo instead of fighting them in court…

Why SMB Marketing Services Won’t Save Newspapers’ Bottom Line

Matt Sokoloff

Why SMB Marketing Services Won’t Save Newspapers’ Bottom Line

Most newspapers aren’t building new and innovative tools to provide SMB services. Instead they are white labeling offerings from other providers or are connecting their audiences to an existing service. Over time, SMB tools are going to become a commodity. When someone who is still in high school can offer exactly what you are offering, you’re in trouble. With the high cost structures and overhead that newspapers have, being in a commodity business (where margins get pushed lower and lower) won’t prove lucrative in the end…

How Facebook’s Rumored News Product Could Hurt Local Sites

Matt Sokoloff

How Facebook’s Rumored News Product Could Hurt Local Sites

News websites dodged a bullet when Facebook didn’t announce a rumored RSS or news-in-your-news-feed product yesterday. If Facebook actually got serious about these plans, news websites could expect an even larger portion of their site’s traffic to be directed through the social network — and their brands could be endangered…

How Publishers Can Create Hyperlocal Magazines Using Flipboard’s New Tools

Matt Sokoloff

How Publishers Can Create Hyperlocal Magazines Using Flipboard’s New Tools

This morning Flipboard launched a new web application called “Flipboard Editor,” the latest in a series of tools that allow users to create magazines for the Flipboard app. The new editor makes it even easier for users to create beautiful magazines (of already existing content) that they can share with other users. As Flipboard grows out not only its aggregation tools but also its user base, it’s important that hyperlocal publications take notice…

What Hyperlocal Marketers Can Learn From Disney’s Wearable Devices

Matt Sokoloff

What Hyperlocal Marketers Can Learn From Disney’s Wearable Devices

We talk a lot in the hyperlocal industry about what the future of offline marketing and commerce will look like. Mostly it would seem to involve taking the advantages of online marketing and shopping (customization, personalization, analytics, actionable CRM data, etc.) and bringing them into the real world of retail stores. Different players have been experimenting with different elements of this online-to-offline migration of technology, but the Walt Disney Company has really taken the ball and run with it…

Why the Commoditization of Local Information Is an Opportunity for Journalism

Matt Sokoloff

Why the Commoditization of Local Information Is an Opportunity for Journalism

Some have seen the shift of local information — from something that was unique to newspapers to a commodity that is available from a variety of sources — as the end to local news. But I actually think it presents a great opportunity for journalists to do what they do best: put information into context and tell us why it matters…

Survey ‘Paywalls’ May Not Be as Good as They Sound for Local Media

Matt Sokoloff

Survey ‘Paywalls’ May Not Be as Good as They Sound for Local Media

While surveys may be a good source of revenue, it’s not a long-term solution for local news sites:There is an inherent supply-and-demand issue — not very different from the one that arises with online display ads. As more and more publishers adopt Google Consumer Surveys, Google can begin dropping its publisher payout because it has enough supply…

Selling Local Is Hard — Here’s What You Need to Do to Make It Work

Matt Sokoloff

Selling Local Is Hard — Here’s What You Need to Do to Make It Work

For the past couple of months I’ve been testing a new targeted local online advertising product as part of my fellowship project at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.The test has been essentially to sell the product to regional businesses within a given market. And at the end of the two-month trial, after calling on more than 150 businesses multiple times, I have a much greater appreciation not only for local salespeople but for the brands in the marketplace that can sell local…

How Press Association Ad Networks Can Help Newspapers Compete Online

Matt Sokoloff

How Press Association Ad Networks Can Help Newspapers Compete Online

One would think that the Internet would help ad networks from state press and newspaper associations operate with even greater efficiency, but these groups are only in the early stages online. Still they are well-positioned to help increase CPMs and provide a way for newspapers to ensure that their ad inventory is always sold at a set value…

Local TV Stations: The Sleeping Beasts in Hyperlocal News

Matt Sokoloff

Local TV Stations: The Sleeping Beasts in Hyperlocal News

Resting on the laurels of legacy profits only gets you so far. Just ask newspaper publishers. When you really take a good look at the local television business, it’s clear this is an industry waiting to be disrupted — and when that happens, outlets that haven’t invested sufficiently in digital won’t have much to hold onto…

Black Friday’s Local Opportunity: Taking Preprints Digital

Matt Sokoloff

Black Friday’s Local Opportunity: Taking Preprints Digital

Publishers across the country give thanks for the fantastic single copy sales they get on Thanksgiving due to the bundle of preprint circulars that come with the paper ahead of Black Friday. But for quite some time people inside and outside of the newspaper industry have been discussing the fact that the preprint business is declining — and might go away altogether…

Patch CCO Talks Election Coverage: Virtual News Teams, Trending Hashtag

Matt Sokoloff

Patch CCO Talks Election Coverage: Virtual News Teams, Trending Hashtag

The election was a big national story, but it was also an important local story — and served as yet another crucible to test how deeply hyperlocal network Patch has woven itself into the 850+ communities it serves across the country. Rachel Feddersen, Patch’s Chief Content Officer, spoke with Street Fight this week about how the network approached and executed its election coverage, and what potential lessons the event had for the rest of the news cycle.

As Paywalls Evolve, So Does the Perception of Paywalls

Matt Sokoloff

As Paywalls Evolve, So Does the Perception of Paywalls

It’s time to acknowledge that, overall, people are starting to get used to paying for content online — especially on smartphones and tablets. It will be interesting to see how the various paywall models play out over time, but I have become more confident that paywalls (in some form or fashion) are a piece of the puzzle to running a profitable hyperlocal or regional news website…

BxB Recap: Is This the Future of Local News?

Matt Sokoloff

BxB Recap: Is This the Future of Local News?

The passion with the group at Block by Block isn’t just about great journalism — it’s about turning online journalism into a business; it’s about leveraging existing tools and creating new ones; and most importantly it’s about working to collaboratively across these businesses to make an impact…