Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Here is a publicity target that might be going away. AOL's Patch, the hyperlocal news source, has been a money-loser from the day it started, and it hasn't turned around. Now, the question is whether it will survive. The can't-miss business model has proven to be wrong, as so many business models have in the internet age. It seemed to make sense. The idea was to cover the news of neighborhoods, areas of vital interest to homeowners. Local businesses would be eager to advertise on an online source that their customers read. Why didn't it work? Advertisers didn't come. The need for local news hasn't gone away but there needs to be another means to fund it and make it profitable. It is unclear that anyone has figured that out yet. That is, unless one is satisfied with low revenues and earnings and scraping by, the way many local newspapers have survived over the decades.