I recently attended the annual Local Online Advertising Conference (LOAC) in New York City. Like many of these conferences, the stage was set with the mandatory state-of-the-union charts for local advertising. Whether you deal with local or national advertising, the market share of Google and Facebook in digital advertising remains astonishing.

Almost 50% of all local digital advertising money goes to Facebook and Google.

Google and Facebook continue to take a large share of advertising dollars.
Google and Facebook continue to take a large share of advertising dollars.

What about the rest of the media companies? Money, as you all know by now (especially if you follow my blog posts), is going hard and fast in digital video. eMarketer predicts it will surpass US$16 billion in U.S. ad spend by 2020.

That’s a lot of money, and advertisers and their agencies will need to find scale to spend all that money efficiently. The reason Google and Facebook (or other video juggernauts like Hulu, ESPN, CNN, or Yahoo) are attracting so much revenue is they offer advertisers sufficient inventory to efficiently reach their audience at scale (read: lots of eyeballs with appropriate data to target the right ones).

So, what can you do to start to compete? Is stealing share from YouTube a possibility?

I’ve seen two interesting developments over the past couple of years worth identifying as ways to create that scale to compete.

Publishers are now getting together to fight back

The Local Media Consortium was created by a group of publishers back in 2013 to help them generate costs savings by creating that scale (or purchasing power). They have been banding together to save on costs, like printing, or by leveraging technology partners across their membership.

They are expanding beyond cost savings quite successfully. That’s a great way to create scale very efficiently.

The latest one is Nucleus Marketing Solutions, an innovative sales and marketing team founded by some of the largest publishers in the United States that now has the mandate to sell the digital assets of all the top news brands like Tronc, Gannett, McClatchy, and Hearst.

In short, Nucleus Marketing Solutions instantly creates massive scale to help advertisers reach a quality audience on trusted news sources. It’s a massive one-stop shop that rivals in size with Google or Microsoft to help brands instantly reach their audience at scale.

Publishers can find partners to help them create scale

Individual sports pages Web traffic featuring local sports news on their own is relatively meaningless when viewed by advertisers and agencies. However, aggregated across the country, these pages dwarf any major sports network, because fans want to follow their beat writers covering their home team and reflecting that perspective. In just a few years, working in partnership with most large local news organisations, my company (SendtoNews) has managed to climb to second place behind only ESPN in sports video views, according to comScore.

Finding a way to scale offerings may help individual organisations get ahead.
Finding a way to scale offerings may help individual organisations get ahead.

The bottom line is finding ways to scale your offering through partnering is an easy way to get advertisers and agencies to appreciate and buy your offering. We need to make sure audience is so easy to buy at scale that you are impossible to ignore when it comes time to allocate media budget.