Today on the MSN blog, MSN Local Edition Director Cyrus Krohn announced two new partnerships to bring more local video to US cities on the new look MSN.com. Slated to start in January, the partnerships, with Hearst Television and NBC Local Media, will offer up around 3,000 news video clips a week across 36 local markets.
Microsoft and MSN are continuing to zero in on what they see as the most lucrative “verticals”, or audience segments, and local is one segment where Microsoft sees great opportunity. Some research quoted on the blog post backs them up:
Local information is booming – with 72% of people regularly consuming local news, 76% of people checking weather, and 86% of people searching for a map or driving directions. Video usage online is also skyrocketing in popularity, with 62% of online adults watching a video online and 35% have viewed a television show or movie online.* Both local and video also present a tremendous growth opportunity for advertisers, with local online advertising projected to grow to $10 billion by 2013.**
*Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2009
**Jupiter Research, 2008
MSN rolled out its local edition (found at http://local.msn.com) as part of the new clean and spare looking MSN.com: