• Liz Hayes

Branded Content Project Accounts $1M Milestone in Content Series Revenue for Local Media Outlets

Updated: Mar 10

Achievement signifies importance of branded content to digital advertising strategies; winners of BIPOC bootcamp also announced


New York, March 9, 2021The Branded Content Project today announced that local media outlets working with the Project have sold more than $1 million in content series sponsorships in just over four months. This significant milestone comes following a recent survey that found content marketing will be more of a priority for small businesses in 2021.


“Hitting this significant achievement within such a short period of time, particularly during such a challenging moment for local media, illustrates how effective branded content is for news outlets regardless of market size or location,” said Branded Content Project General Manager Julia Campbell. “We are excited by these results and confident that branded content will be a valuable resource for local media as they look for ways to boost revenue now and in the future.”


Branded content, which can include native advertising articles, social videos, live events or paid video segments, uses the strength of storytelling to provide a valuable benefit to advertisers while increasing audience engagement and revenue to local media publishers.


Advertisers and Publishers Reap Branded Content Project Benefits The Branded Content Project, a joint project between the Local Media Consortium and the Local Media Association and funded by the Facebook Journalism Project, is a full-service branded content product development, content creation, education, distribution and monetization resource for local publishers. Since it began as a pilot project in October 2020 and launched in January, it has helped over 80 publishers define, develop and grow branded content revenue strategies.


“Because of the Branded Content Project’s content series, we’ve already secured over $125,000 in new revenue that we would not have sold otherwise,” said Chris Bennett, editor and publisher of Seattle Medium, which was the first to secure a sponsorship through the Project. “In addition, the branded content concept allowed us to bring something different to the advertiser beyond traditional ad buys, and that enabled them to justify spending money with us because our competitors were not offering a similar product.”


The Branded Content Project storefront, powered by Distributed Media Lab, provides a marketplace for local media companies to easily access branded content campaign creative assets, sales kits and distribution options, plus training and best practices. Currently, four content series categories are available to members of the LMC and LMA at no cost. An additional six categories were recently added and are available to any publisher for a fee. Media outlets can visit brandedcontentproject.com to preview the categories. The site also recently added sponsored videos for CTV and OTT formats.


Read the full case study highlighting the success stories of the local media outlets who sold more than $1 million in content series sponsorships through the Branded Content Project.


BIPOC Winners Announced; Set Sights on New Revenue Models The Branded Content Project also announced today the winners of its Branded Content Sales Bootcamp. The application for this free 24-week bootcamp, which begins this week and runs through the summer, was open to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) publishers, and will provide state-of-the-art sales training and consulting to help publishers – many from communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic – to develop successful and sustainable branded content offerings. These 33 publishers were selected based on their willingness to apply strategic focus and resources to growing innovative branded content initiatives. The winners are:


Al Día News

Amigos in Business - Nuestra Voz

Arabic Media Company LLC - Chicago In Arabic

Black Voice News

Chalkbeat

Corinth Communications, dba The Dallas Examiner

Current Media & Magazines

Dallas Weekly

El Clasificado

Florida Courier

Harlem World Magazine

Houston Defender Network

NDIGO

New Digital Press, LLC DBA Nuestro Estado

New York Amsterdam News

OTV | Open Television

Precinct Reporter Group

Pulso

QCity Metro

Real Times Media

Sahan Journal

Sound Publishing

Substantial Media, LLC

The AFRO American Newspaper Co.

The Atlanta Voice

The Charlotte Post Publishing Company

The Guam Daily Post

The Florida Star

The Oklahoma Eagle

The Sacramento Observer

The Washington Informer Newspaper

Tiloben Publishing Co., Inc - The Seattle Medium

WURD Radio


"We are excited about participating in the Branded Content Bootcamp," said WURD Radio CEO Sara Lomax-Reese. "Developing new revenue-generating products is absolutely essential in a market that is constricted by the economic realities of Covid-19. We are looking forward to learning from the program creators, coaches and the cohort."


“Our team is honored and grateful that a media company on a remote island in the Pacific has been afforded this opportunity to learn from the best in the industry and develop sustainable strategies that deliver results for our clients and adds value to our readers,” said Mindy Aguon, CEO and editor-in-chief, The Guam Daily Post. “This training couldn’t have come at a better time as media publishers around the world recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and look for innovative ways to generate revenue, serve our clients, and engage our readers.”


About The Local Media Consortium

The Local Media Consortium delivers economic value through strategic partnerships and initiatives on behalf of over 90 local media companies in top markets across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and includes more than 4,500 outlets. The LMC delivers over $50M in annual financial benefit to its members by harnessing their combined volume and scale to reduce costs and increase revenue with technology and service providers like Google, Facebook, Monster and others. The LMC has also launched several strategic initiatives to provide cost-effective shared services and aggregated ad revenue opportunities for its members like The Branded Content Project, The Matchup and the Local News Advertiser Inclusion List. According to ComScore, the aggregated LMC audience footprint spans 212 million monthly unique visitors and reaches 80% of the U.S. online audience. More information is available at http://www.localmediaconsortium.com/.


About Local Media Association

Local Media Association is a thriving and innovative organization serving more than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, digital news sites, radio stations and research & development partners. Local Media Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable trust that supports the mission of LMA and the essential role of local news and information in a healthy democracy. 2021 projects include: Lab for Journalism Funding, The Fund for Local Journalism, Fund for Black Journalism/Word in Black, Oklahoma Media Center, Solving for Chicago, The Branded Content Project and much more.


About the Facebook Journalism Project

The Facebook Journalism Project works with publishers around the world to strengthen the connection between journalists and the communities they serve. It also helps address the news industry's core business challenges. Our trainings, programs, and partnerships work in three ways: 1. Building community through news by working with and investing in organizations that fund quality journalism; 2. Training newsrooms globally; and 3. Partnering with news publishers and nonprofits to combat misinformation, promote news literacy, fund new initiatives, share best practices, and improve journalism on our platforms. For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/journalismproject


About The Branded Content Project

The Branded Content Project is designed through a strategic partnership between the Local Media Association, the Local Media Consortium, and the Facebook Journalism Project to help facilitate additional growth, engagement and success for more publishers of all shapes and sizes. Branded content uses the strength of storytelling to provide a valuable benefit to advertisers while increasing audience engagement and revenue for local media publishers. This powerful revenue stream has shown to be a success for many media organizations.


About Distributed Media Lab

Distributed Media Lab mission is to create and empower new media business models designed to harness the decentralized architecture and economics of the open web for the benefit of publishers, marketers and consumers.


Media contacts:

Christina Gillham

cgillham@thatcherandco.com


Kristin Brocoff, 949-400-4899

kbrocoff@thatcherandco.com



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