Powering local and regional publishing

Background

Even in a globally connected world, people naturally seek to deepen their connections with the community immediately around them. Throughout the turmoil of recent years in the media business, local publishing has remained resilient compared to other segments of the newspaper business because the local information that is gathered and presented by quality local newspapers is credible, relevant, and not available from other sources. This has enabled local publishers to remain profitable by continuing to attract unique local advertising and charging for their content.

But while local newspapers across the world have bucked the trend of declining circulation that has afflicted national newspapers, the local segment has also reached a crucial tipping point. The consideration is no longer whether or not to "go digital", but how to implement it effectively and profitably with limited resources. Local publishers understand that they need to act now to retain the relevance of their brands as the go-to source for local community information, yet they fear cannibalizing their still-profitable print operations, and are not in a position to carry the extra costs and disruption of creating digital content.

The Opportunity

  • High-quality sustainable local journalism matters.
  • The revenue of local and regional newspapers, while stable relative to the newspaper industry as a whole, has limited growth potential for each individual title. As a result, local and regional publishing houses must find new revenue streams.
  • Local and regional publishers lack the human and financial resources to make the technology investments necessary to compete efficiently in tech-based media. Being small by definition, local publishers cannot individually compete with the operational efficiencies of larger titles. As a result, they need to collaborate in some form of networked collaboration.
  • There are over 160 local and regional titles in Switzerland, and thousands more across Europe.
  • The scale and strength of local media in Switzerland makes it an ideal starting point to prove new principles of local media that may be applied in other markets.
  • Technology can close the gap between local and national. While much innovation has been undertaken with national newspapers, digital innovation in the local segment is a till-now untapped market.

About the Product

Localpoint's mission is to help local and regional newspapers with the evolution from print to digital by endorsing the very latest technology and strategic innovation.

However Localpoint is not a mere provider of technology. The Company uses technology as a means to directly create new revenue streams for its customers. LocalPoint platform has been generating significant additional revenues for local publishers through a system that automatically "reads" and re-processes local print advertisements and print articles from the PDF versions of the newspaper in order to re-purpose such advertising for digital channels. Using principles of machine learning, LocalPoint Fusion recognizes advertising from the printed page, enriches such ads with automatically extracted data (eg dates, URLs, email addresses, phone numbers, map locations), and then re-publishes them on various digital channels operated by the newspaper, including web, mobile, tablet, and out-of-home TV.

Using machine learning, LocalPoint Fusion automatically extracts and enriches advertising and articles from the PDF editions of local and regional newspapers for display in digital channels.

This back-office workflow is invaluable to local publishers as most do not create or store local print advertisements in a structured form that is usable in digital channels. The workflow is accompanied by a simple and effective business model under which publishers apply automated surcharges of around 10% for the additional online display of advertisements. Localpoint charges local publishers a fee for the local advertisements that are processed from print and re-distributed to digital.