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YouTube the Craig’s List of Local Television?

Jeff Jarvis reflects on a reader’s observation that the advent of viral online videos at YouTube and elsewhere may have the same impact on the bottom lines of local television affiliates as Craig’s List did for local newspapers. It’s an interesting point and one I think has some merit.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

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  1. Archives December 2006 August 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 [IMG Outside The Beltway | OTB] Gallup Goes Inside the Numbers Blogs Save the World YouTube the Craig’s List of Local Television? Kevin Bacon and Friends Caption Contest Winners Beltway Traffic Jam Majority Oppose Supplemental Spending Shenanigans Is Freakonomics Ruining Economics? Military Field Rations Around the World Iran’

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  2. One big difference is the direct substitution effect. Local newspapers derived considerable revenue from their classifieds. Those pages were likely the highest marginal profit pages. Relatively low cost to produce and chock full of tiny ads paid for by people. Craig’s list let people put those ads up for less money. So the people with the money (the advertisers in the classifieds) got their needs met another way and started taking their money with them.

    Youtube threatens local television’s eyeball time, but that only indirectly threatens local televisions advertisement time. When youtube starts making you watch a 30 second commercial for every 5 minutes of video (or whatever ratio makes sense), then it will really be a threat. Because then the advertisers can get their needs met by working with youtube and then the local stations will start to hurt.

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