Local Content for a Global Audience

Mike Elgan of The Raw Feed, writing in Computer World, gives props to iHeart Radio, a free iTunes application from Clear Channel.
I downloaded the app and it’s pretty slick. But since KBCO/Boulder is the only Clear Channel station that I care about, it’s not an app I’ll use over and over like Pandora. However, I’m still excited by the functionality because I would love to tune in to non-commercial community radio on my iPhone. That app doesn’t exist yet, but I think Clear Channel’s example indicates it can be done.
Equally of interest in Elgan’s article is his take on local content. He says because of the internet, “nothing is local anymore.” He goes on to explain how local radio stations and newspapers waste resources when they cover national or global news.

The driver behind this process is hubris. Newspapers delude themselves into thinking that readers read nothing else. The assumption is that it’s not news until we cover it. So every newspaper covers the same story, wasting billions of dollars per year in duplicated effort industrywide.
It’s time the so-called local media opened its eyes to the new reality: Nothing is local anymore. And it’s a huge opportunity. The new mantra should be: Cover local events exclusively, but for a global audience.

Another twist here is that hyperlocal news sites are popping up everywhere, and they clearly intend to provide local news to locals, not to people in far off places. Elgan doesn’t touch on this and I don’t know his thoughts on the matter. However, he did say “nothing is local anymore.” I think he means nothing is exclusively local anymore, because obviously everything is local.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.