"The wave of Internet advertising that locally focused media companies have been surfing for five years has now peaked, and some media companies are starting to eat sand," its report starts.
With the arrival of such hyperlocal players as Huffington Post, AOL and others, the market is getting more crowded. Even so, there is money to be made from local online --- it's just tougher to fetch, now that it has crested.
Local online advertising will grow 12 per cent this year to about $14.2 billion and about five per cent next year and about 2.9 per cent annually in the next five years.
"The forecast is predicated upon a slow economic recovery and the fact that “online” as a local media advertising category is approaching what we believe is saturation," it says.
"The game in 2010 will center more around stealing market share than growing the market," the executive summary says.