Local Media Consortium Deal Enables Reach Extension Through Yahoo

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Yahoo Local Media ConsortiumThe Local Media Consortium, a 55-member-strong organization of local media startups, newspapers and local television news websites, signed a three-year contract with Yahoo on Tuesday enabling reach extension through the Yahoo platform.

Members will also be able to take advantage of Yahoo’s targeting capabilities on behalf of their advertising clients.

“If you take a local dry cleaning business that wants to reach professional women under 30, I can only offer them so many of those targeted advertising clients through my own website,” said Rusty Coats, director of the Local Media Consortium. “By offering Yahoo inventory as well, I’m expanding that reach.” Members are not obligated to use Yahoo’s reach extension.

Many local media outlets also benefit from “exposure to great digital advertising sales practices, like ideas about selling audience and not product [and] how to structure sales teams,” Coats said. He anticipates Local Media Consortium members will also learn the ins and outs of native advertising: “[Yahoo] will help us not only to sell into native, but to learn how people are habituating to native.”

While the terms of the deal are new, many Local Media Consortium members have a relationship with Yahoo that began seven years ago with a partnership called the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium. That arrangement disbanded when that deal expired last October and the Local Media Consortium formed in its place, allowing members to work with multiple tech providers and expand beyond newspapers to all local media.

Google was one of the tech partners with whom members began working. In February, Google began powering a private exchange with members’ inventory. While the exchange is currently operating, many members are still onboarding the exchange and the Google platform.

Coats said consortium members will get better contractual terms from advertisers, providing efficiency. There’s also hope they can drive higher CPMs through their alliance. “If you start those CPMs at $2 and get to $3.25, and get that to 4 billion impressions (out of 14 billion) that is a huge amount of money, all because we’re better monetizing.”

The deals with Yahoo and Google are only the start, he said.

“For me this is the first of several steps with Yahoo,” Coats said. “They have many overlapping interests and capabilities with local media. It’s the same with Google. We’re taking the long view. Our members are signed up [with the Local Media Consortium] for five years, and our agreements with tech companies are three to five years within that.”

Smaller technology companies are also interested in striking a single deal with the Local Media Consortium, Coats said: “Startups who have taken two years of angel funding to get to seven media companies like the idea that we can bring 55 media companies to the table, instead of spending years to get those customers.”

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