Research: Local News Sites Must Look Beyond Display Ads

Regional newspapers are turning more toward sponsored links, search ads and ecommerce partnerships with travel agents, as conventional online advertising against their content remains challenged.

Research by University of Central Lancashire‘s Francois Pierre Nel, who examined regional papers’ sites in 66 UK towns, showed they have upped their activity in those areas since last year. His findings below

But Nel criticises papers’ reliance on display advertising, for failing to take advantage of mobility – fewer than a quarter of sites had mobile-specific websites, and none of them carried display ads – and is urging them to embrace ecommerce to top up falling revenue…

Sure enough, in the last year, the newspaper sites added more and more merchant affiliate schemes, especially in the travel category.

Still no regional publishers are operating paywalls, Nel’s research found.