Kara Swisher

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MSN Strikes Another Local Deal: This Time With NBCU and Hearst


MSN has struck yet another local deal, this time with NBC Universal and Hearst, to provide local news and information to the Microsoft consumer portal.

The deal encompasses 36 markets in the U.S. and will provide 3,000 video clips per week, which will be integrated into MSN’s Local Edition early next year.

Hearst, which is privately held, and NBC Universal, which GE (GE) just sold a major chunk of to Comcast (CMCSA), both have significant local print and television assets.

The deal follows a number of local efforts by MSN, part of a larger trend by big Internet players to integrate a lot more local and community content and data into their offerings.

These include a big local module on MSN’s newly designed homepage as well as the acquisition of hyperlocal information site EveryBlock by Microsoft partner MSNBC.com this summer.

Here is MSN’s blog post on the deals:

MSN Local Edition Announces Partnerships with NBC Local Media and Hearst Television
MSN announces local partnerships

Posted by lisablogs on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 3:52 PM

With our recent launch of the preview of the new MSN homepage, we discussed several trends that influenced the design of our new MSN homepage. The growth of online video and local information were two key trends that influenced our design and both video and local information are extensively integrated into our new homepage. We also unveiled our new MSN Local Edition, a new site focused on providing comprehensive local information at http://local.msn.com.

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.**

Today, we’re happy to announce two partnerships that will allow us to combine the power of both video and local information, and increase the amount of local information we can offer our customers. Through partnerships with NBC Local Media and Hearst Television, we will receive around 3,000 news video clips a week across 36 local media markets. While anyone in the US can receive comprehensive local information from MSN Local Edition, we’re pleased to partner with these industry leaders to offer more compelling and relevant local video clips to customers in 35 markets. The new video content will be available in January 2010.

NBC Local Media will offer local video clips from their “Locals Only” websites in Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco/Bay Area, CA; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Connecticut, and Miami, FL.

Hearst Television will offer local video clips in Albuquerque, NM; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Burlington, VT / Plattsburgh, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Des Moines, IA; Ft. Smith, AR; Greensboro / Winston-Salem, NC; Greenville, SC; Honolulu, HI; Jackson, MS; Kansas City, MO; Lancaster / Harrisburg, PA; Louisville, KY; Manchester, NH; Milwaukee, WI; Monterey, CA; New Orleans, LA; Oklahoma City, OK; Omaha, NE; Orlando, FLA; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, ME; Sacramento, CA; and
West Palm Beach, FLA.

Cyrus Krohn
Director, MSN Local Edition

*Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2009

**Jupiter Research, 2008