The most popular mapping and navigational tool on the planet, Google Maps, is expanding its traffic coverage. This week the app added traffic accidents and other incidents courtesy of Waze, the mobile startup Google acquired for $1 billion earlier this summer. This is just one more sign that two of local TV’s biggest drivers — weather and traffic — are under increasing pressure from non-traditional competitors on the platform that increasingly matters the most: mobile.
Over the last few years, local TV stations have quickly embraced social media, gaining a big head start over most of their newspaper competitors on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Now even bigger challenges have arrived: mobile is taking over the media world, and there’s a huge battle brewing for local TV viewers’ attention. At the same time, most newspapers have switched to pay meters, opening up an opportunity for stations to entice those readers with “mobile best” products. But as I explained to local TV marketers gathered at the Promax BDA Station Summit on Thursday, many local stations are lagging behind.