End of an Era: BIA Drops ‘Kelsey’ from Its Name
May 7, 2018 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
I worked for The Kelsey Group (TKG) from 2000 to 2006. I came in as managing editor and left as a “local search” analyst. I probably wrote the first report on whether search would adversely impact the directory industry — maybe 16 years ago.
Believe it or not it was an open question in those days.
Two years after I left, TKG was sold to BIA Financial Network. It became BIA/Kelsey and continued to do local media research and publish forecasts. Accordingly, this morning I received an email containing a provocative new forecast.
Locally targeted Google AdWords is slated to pass the total revenue of “all 11,044 commercial radio stations in the U.S.” and will rival local TV spending:
Local Google advertising exceeds the total local advertising generated by all 11,044 commercial radio stations in the U.S. and rivals the amount generated by all 1,282 full power commercial television stations in the U.S., according to BIA. With the continued more rapid growth of digital advertising, BIA forecasts that by 2022 local Google advertising will almost double the over-the-air advertising of the entire radio industry.
I was also struck by the absence of the “Kelsey” brand in the email. It’s now BIA Advisory services.
The people I worked with at TKG all gone. There’s a diaspora of sorts of former Kelsey analysts in various places now. Charles Laughlin and Neal Polachek are running LSA’s Tech Adoption program. Dan Miller, who exited before me, founded Opus Research. Peter Krasilovsky continues to cover the local arena on his blog, Local Onliner. Mike Boland started AR/VR analyst firm Artillry. Jed Williams is at LMA and others after my time have come and gone.
At one time TKG was synonymous with yellow pages and the directory industry. For some the change will mean the end of an era. It’s also something of a metaphor for change in the entire “local search industry” itself.