Local News Online: Aggregators, Geo‐Targeting and the Market for Local News*

<p>We examine how placement of geo‐targeted local news links on Google News affected local news consumption. Using a sample of news visits by 36,876 U.S. households before and after a Google News design change, we find that aggregation increased the level and share of local news consumed online. Magnitudes are modest: consumption of local news among heavy Google News users rose by 25% after the redesign, but from a low base. Geo‐targeting increased weekly consumption variety and reduced concentration among local outlets but did not raise overall consumption variety, suggesting that aggregators play a limited role in product discovery.</p>