Saturday, June 02, 2012

HyperLocal - will it work?


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It is fascinating to contrast the relatively rich Hamburg evening newspaper's work using 7 citizen reporters from its regions with that of MarsActu, Marseilles, Southern France where they have much less cash for hyperlocal sites. The French presentation (translated into English) starts at 38'43. Launched as an Internet only site in January 2010 they serve Marseilles (1 million inhabitants). The large cities have been dominated by newspaper monopolies. MarsActu employ 5 journalists and get around 100,000 unique visitors a month. They have five editions a day. They have also invested in a small digital studio for on-demand videos. Next step is go live with a chat room. Pierre Boucard recommends that people start small. Revenue is projected to be 150,000 Euro from local advertising in 2012. 350,000 Euro expected next year when they will break even. They focus on higher level discussion, business and culture leaving local sports coverage to a local daily newspaper. Their aim is to add value. They want to expand to other cities, aiming to reach 9 other cities where they believe the model will work. Pierre also noted that Huffington Post launched in France with 8 journalists. 


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