Media companies struggled for years to generate ad revenue from the local online market, experimenting with city guides featuring local entertainment content, banner ads and search ads. The advent of social shopping sites like Groupon, which give consumers discounts at local businesses, appears to have unlocked the local online ad market. According to forecasts from BIA/Kelsey, local online ad spending is poised to climb from $20 billion in 2010 to $35 billion in 2014.

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