Shared Services Benefit Local Media Companies with Broader, Lower Cost Access to Digital Strategic Consultants, Developers and Technical Resources
NEW YORK, Dec. 6, 2022 – The Local Media Consortium, a strategic alliance of local media companies, today announced the launch of its Digital On Demand Services (DODS) program to provide local media companies with broader, lower cost access to strategic consultants, developers and technical resources to help accelerate digital growth.
With support from the Google News Initiative (GNI) and guidance from the LMC’s Community Committee collaboration, the shared services program provides local media companies with access to digital transformation resources often unaffordable and unattainable for local media, particularly smaller community publishers and independently owned news outlets.
“Many local media companies simply don’t have the resources to accelerate their digital business,” said Fran Wills, CEO, Local Media Consortium. “A recent survey of our community publisher members revealed that 64% have fewer than three internal digital development resources and more than one third have no internal digital development resources whatsoever. We’ve crafted the DODS shared services program to provide our members with affordable access to consultants, partners and developers to help with their most immediate digital needs.”
The GNI will help to fund DODS over two years, building on its partnership with the LMC that commits to a series of initiatives to help local media optimize their digital business and grow revenue. Program priorities will target the needs of local media outlets, particularly in small to mid-sized markets with few internal resources and limited financial ability to access external services. Other participants may include larger metropolitan publishers or broadcasters and multi-market entities that need quality, outsourced resources; and hyper-local digital startups and blogs.
"The Google News Initiative is excited to support this critical project to continue to meet the needs of news publishers as part of our efforts to enable a thriving local news ecosystem,” said Megan Favat, Head of US, Ecosystems and Associations at Google. “The LMC continues to be a valuable partner and we look forward to seeing the impact this latest resource will have for so many.”
The LMC has identified examples of the following types of of strategic consulting and technology development support services DODS plans to offer:
Ad revenue: Strategic consulting to increase digital ad revenue, optimize programmatic, monetize audio and video, as well as technology services such as ad stack configuration, taxonomy standardization, programmatic setup, APIs, campaign fulfillment and reporting.
Consumer revenue: Business model development, vendor configuration, payment integration and reporting, plus developers to help optimize consumer tech stacks and paid digital subscriptions.
Audience: Strategic resources to help increase audience acquisition, engagement and retention, and development services for vendor integrations, email/newsletter configurations, engagement platforms.
Developer resources: Project managers and on-demand programmers to build or implement technology such as for APIs, feeds, UI/UX, apps, widgets, rich media, CMS integrations, newsletter templates.
Training: Operational and management training and best practices for digital sales, advertising or consumer revenue operations, including on-demand modular training and peer-to-peer benchmarking.
“This project has the potential to contribute more value to LMC members and community publishers than any other partner program to date,” said Jay Horton, president, WEHCO Digital Media, LMC Board Director and Community Committee Member.
The DODS program will help publisher participants with needs assessment and scoping to ensure they are connected with the most appropriate consultants, partners or technical resources for their projects. Fully vetted LMC technology partners already committed to the program include adept.li and MIDTC, who provide digital developers, engineers and infrastructure support. In addition, the LMC has over 30 digital partners that provide a broad array of digital tools and services to optimize a publisher’s digital business. Over the next few months, consultants will be engaged to provide advice and guidance on digital strategy.
A test-case pilot showed encouraging results. Virginia-based Rappahannock Media, which purchased FaquierNow.com in early 2022, needed to migrate an archive of more than 20,000 stories, photos and other content items. A small, regional publisher, Rappahannock did not have the tech resources to complete the migration itself and other vendors quoted more than $10,000 to do the work over six months. The LMC conducted an initial project scope and connected Rappahannock with Adept.li, which was able to complete the project in less time at a substantial cost savings.
The DODS program request form is now available to LMC members, including the consortium’s association members of LION, NAHP and AAN.
About the Local Media Consortium The Local Media Consortium delivers over $50 million in annual economic value through strategic initiatives and partnerships to its more than 100 local media companies across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and includes more than 5,000 news outlets. By harnessing the combined volume and scale of its members, the LMC reduces costs and increases revenue with technology and service providers like Google, Meta, Monster, and others. The aggregated LMC audience footprint spans 200 million unique monthly visitors, and its member companies serve more than nine billion pageviews to consumers. More information is available at http://www.localmediaconsortium.com/.