Navigating the Changing Local TV Landscape to Maximize Monetization and Growth

In a world increasingly dominated by global news cycles and digital platforms, the enduring relevance of local news remains a steadfast pillar of communities worldwide. Local news is a cornerstone of information, connecting neighbors, businesses, and events in a way that resonates deeply and uniquely with its loyal audience. Still, as the landscape of media consumption continues to evolve, so too must local news outlets adapt to ensure they continue to engage and serve their devoted followers effectively.

In this blog, we’ll look at the pivotal role of local news and explore innovative tools and strategies to enhance engagement among local TV viewers while creating opportunities for monetization. From introducing new ways for viewers to interact with their content to harnessing the power of viewer data and leveraging local loyalty, as well as introducing sponsored content and targeted ads based on viewer preferences, local broadcasters have numerous avenues to thrive in today’s increasingly digital and competitive landscape.

What Are the Major Challenges Currently Facing Local TV Broadcasters?

The landscape of media consumption is constantly shifting, driven by technological advancements and changing viewer behaviors. In 2024, the major hurdles local broadcasters need to overcome are the following:

  • The Rise in Desire For Interactive Content: Traditional TV consumption is waning, particularly among younger demographics, as interactive digital media gains momentum. In fact, according to a study by Deloitte in 2021, 84% of consumers aged 18-24 use a second screen while watching TV, indicating a desire for interactive content. This rings even more true in 2024, as viewers are no longer satisfied with passive content consumption and instead crave ways to engage and hold real-time discussions with other viewers.
  • Limited Viewer Data Access: Local TV broadcasters currently lack detailed insights into their demographics, relying on traditional methods like 3rd-party surveys and focus groups. This lack of viewer data restricts broadcasters from improving their user experience and tailoring their content to meet the needs and interests of their audience. Without accurate demographic information and insights into viewer behavior, broadcasters may find it challenging to make informed decisions about programming, scheduling, and content development.
  • Competition with National Broadcasters: Local broadcasters are constantly at risk of losing viewers to national broadcasters and third-party platforms. National broadcasters typically have greater resources and established platforms, posing a significant threat to local broadcasters’ market share. In other words, local broadcasters need to leverage their unique strength, namely the power of community, or risk losing their viewers to larger broadcasters. According to Nielsen, national broadcast networks capture approximately 70% of prime-time viewership, leaving local broadcasters to compete for the remaining 30%.

So, What Can Local Broadcasters Do to Stay Competitive?

In the face of these challenges, local TV broadcasters need to embrace innovation and reinvent their approach to content delivery. Simply replicating traditional broadcast models on digital platforms will not suffice. Instead, broadcasters must prioritize interactivity, personalization, community-building and engagement to truly resonate with modern audiences.

  • Introduce Ways to Engage with Their Content in Real-Time: From live polls and viewer Q&A sessions to immersive storytelling formats, interactive features have the power to transform passive viewers into active participants, fostering a sense of community and connection. By embracing interactive technologies, local TV broadcasters can differentiate themselves from digital competitors and create compelling, immersive experiences that captivate audiences.
  • Leverage Engagement Tools to Gather Crucial Viewer Data: By integrating engagement tools that viewers can interact with while enjoying live coverage of local news stories, local broadcasters can not only enhance viewer engagement but also gather crucial viewer data insights specific to their community’s interests and concerns. Features like live polls asking about community issues, trivia quizzes about local history or events, and real-time chat capabilities for viewers to share their perspectives provide broadcasters with valuable insights into viewer preferences, behaviors, and demographics within their local area. This data can inform content decisions tailored to the unique interests and needs of the local audience, improve user experiences by delivering relevant and engaging news coverage, and ultimately drive audience growth for the local news program.
  • Lean on the Power of Loyalty in a Local Community: Local TV broadcasters have a unique advantage in their connection to the local community. By fostering loyalty and building trust among viewers, broadcasters can solidify their position as a trusted source of news and information. This can be achieved through community outreach initiatives, partnerships with local organizations, and tailored content that reflects the interests and values of the local audience. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans feel a strong connection to their local community and are more likely to engage with content that reflects local interests and issues. By tapping into the power of community loyalty, local broadcasters can strengthen their relationship with viewers and ensure long-term success in an increasingly competitive media landscape.

How Do These Efforts Affect Monetization?

Introducing new engagement tools helps local broadcasters remain competitive and expand their viewership, leading to significant potential for monetization. 

These community-building tools directly impact user retention and session duration, leading to more advertising and sponsored content consumption. In other words, longer sessions and increased retention translate to higher ad revenue, as advertisers are willing to invest more in platforms that attract and retain engaged audiences. Moreover, enhanced engagement exposes users to a greater number of ads and sponsored content placements strategically integrated into the platform. As users interact with community features, they naturally encounter these advertising opportunities, increasing their value to advertisers. 

Additionally, the data collected through these engagement tools provides broadcasters with valuable insights into user preferences and behaviors, enabling them to optimize ad placements and sponsorship deals. Leveraging this data-driven approach, broadcasters can tailor their monetization strategies, offering personalized subscription options and attracting new sponsors/partnerships based on comprehensive traffic metrics and user data. 

Ultimately, the integration of engagement tools enhances the user experience while unlocking diverse revenue streams, ensuring the long-term profitability and sustainability of local broadcasting platforms.

Empowering Local TV Broadcasters With LiveLike’s Interactive Toolkit

As local broadcasters in the 21st century look to evolve their traditional format, they need the right tools that will infuse interactivity, personalization, and targeted content into their platforms to drive engagement among viewers. And they need look no further than the LiveLike Audience Engagement Suite. By integrating LiveLike’s suite of engagement tools, local broadcasters can not only bridge the gap between traditional broadcasting and digital interactivity but also transform their content into immersive, personalized experiences. 

With features such as live polls, trivia quizzes, real-time chat capabilities, and loyalty rewards systems, broadcasters can foster deeper audience engagement, capture valuable data insights, and unlock new revenue opportunities. By embracing LiveLike, local TV broadcasters can not only survive but thrive in an era of unprecedented change, securing their relevance and success in the digital age.

The 21st century presents an era of change for the local TV broadcasting industry, presenting both challenges and opportunities for those willing to adapt. As viewer expectations evolve and digital platforms reshape the media landscape, broadcasters need to embrace innovation, experimentation, and a relentless focus on audience engagement. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights, emerging technologies, community-building and interactive content formats, local TV broadcasters can not only survive but thrive in an era of unparalleled transformation. 

The time to act is now—to reimagine the future of local television and secure its place in the hearts and minds of viewers for generations to come.

Get in touch to learn more about activity feeds-as-a-service or to find out how LiveLike can enhance your platform experience.

Related Articles

Monetizing Your Digital Product in 2024 (with LiveLike)

Monetizing Your Digital Product in 2024 (with LiveLike)

The ability to monetize digital products has become a critical cornerstone for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital age. Beyond mere survival, successful monetization opens up avenues for growth, fosters deeper brand engagement, and unlocks new, potentially...

LiveLike Feature Spotlight: Match Predictor

LiveLike Feature Spotlight:
Match Predictor

Everything fans need to prep for gameday, in one place on your platform. With the LiveLike Match Predictor, users on your platform have the chance to become active participants in the drama unfolding on the field, no matter where or when they’re tuning in. From...

LiveLike Feature Spotlight: The Power of Quests

LiveLike Feature Spotlight: The Power of Quests

Whether it’s integrating live chatbots, introducing mini-games, or updating design elements, brands are constantly seeking ways to innovate their digital platforms to captivate audiences and keep them coming back more frequently. But users need more than just one-off...