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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hyper-Local News Websites Have Lots Of Eyeballs, But What About Revenue?

Patch is a network of hyper-local news websites — there are around 800 in communities across the country.

More than 10 million people read these websites to find out about a water main break or local gang activity — the kind of stories that don’t make it into the big daily newspapers.

But the downside is, they’re not generating much money.

Business Insider reported that Patch’s parent company, AOL, poured $140 million into the venture last year, and the sites only made $20 million in revenue–leaving AOL with a loss of about $120 million.

Investors aren’t happy and media watchers are wondering if the promise of hyper-local news is viable.

Guest:

  • Sean Roach, who ran the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch for two years

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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