Key facts, findings and takeaways from the Destination Local report into demand for hyperlocal media in the UK

Posted: April 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Been having a read of the new Destination Local research by Nesta into the demand for hyperlocal media (read local news and information) in the UK. It’s fascinating reading.

If you can’t face the 82 page PDF download, here’s the main points I found during the research. First some details on what they were looking at and how they did it:

Where do the stats below come from? It comes from a survey of 2,248 people done in early January 2013 using Comupter Assisted Personal Interviewing. All respondents were aged 16 or over.

How was hyperlocal defined? “online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, single postcode or other small geographically defined community.”

Use of hyperlocal for content, what people want

50% of users want weather
41% breaking news
32% local entertainment
30% clubs and bar
27% community events

Breakdown of usage

Every day
50% want local weather every day
36% want business news every day
35% want breaking news every day

Not daily but at least weekly
45% local sports
40% business news
39% breaking news

Not weekly but at least monthly
54% local restaurants
49% Local businesses
48% local arts and cultural events

Less than monthly
47% local planning, building, development
38% local social services
32% local schools and education

Little interest in paying for hyperlocal information, but reason for growth against “traditional sources” is the perception that it is more up to date, accurate and reliable than other sources. This seems like a chance for hyperlocal media to show how often they update and the ease at which they make information available against local authority websites etc.

Who are hyperlocal users? 35-54 age group, own home, ABC1 and can afford a connected device.

How do users choose local media? ‘Accuracy and reliability’, ‘trustworthy’ and ‘being up to date’ are crucial. <— How can hyperlocal sites portray this? Good timestamps, focus on what is being published and quality.

Just over 1/5 of people have contributed to hyperlocal media by posting a comment or uploading a photo. You’re more likely to contribute if you have a tablet or smartphone. A contribution is classed as posting a comment, uploading a photo, sending in a story…

66% of UK adults are either very interested and quite intereted in the immediate area where they live.

Interestingly women in a relationship are most likely to be “very interested” in local news and information. Assumption, because they have children?

Those who read a daily or Sunday newspaper are more likely to use hyperlocal media than those who read local newspapers.

How people access hyperlocal media:
Laptops/netbooks – 58%
Smartphones – 46%
Desktops – 34%
Non smartphones phones – 28%
Tablets – 22%

55% of smartphone users will visit local media site about where they live once a week or more often

The hyperlocal search battle:
56% of users rely on search engines to find information about their local area. How are hyperlocal sites competing in the search world?

Why people use hyperlocal media
59% it is convenient and 45% it is free and 49% said they would not pay for a service which is hyperlocal

What do hyperlocal media allow people to do?
56% feel more informed about their local area, 40% are more likely to support the local economy with their purchasing decisions and 36% agree it strengthens their sense of belonging

But 66% feel it hasn’t helped them make friends, and 46% don’t feel it has given them the chance to contribute to discussions about their local area, plus 44% don’t feel it allows them to have an influence over decisions made in the immediate area. Interesting as a lot of what we hear about hyperlocal media is about how it brings people together around a cause, maybe these type of hyperlocal sites were not reflected in the research because people were asked about “news” and updates on a campaign are not considered “news”?

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3 Comments on “Key facts, findings and takeaways from the Destination Local report into demand for hyperlocal media in the UK”

  1. 1 James Clarke said at 11:00 am on April 12th, 2013:

    Some interesting snippets of info in here Ed!

    Some of it rings true with our experiences with, other things not so much. Any idea of the focus was solely on hyperlocal websites and people’s use, or did this cover social media as well?

  2. 2 Ed Walker said at 11:26 am on April 12th, 2013:

    Hey James. Cheers. Social media feeds about local areas were classed as hyperlocal media, I believe. There wasn’t too much specifically about social media from what I saw. There are a lot of pages though so I could be wrong!

  3. 3 Tim Dickens said at 2:35 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    Ed, Just wanted to say thank you for providing a bite size round up of the incredibly dry source document. Really interesting to see the figures, and we’re going to look at how the findings could change how we do things at Brixton Blog. Cheers!

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