Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

Print Obituary Pricing Study

June 9th, 2016

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About the Research

Legacy.com set out to study pricing trends on newspaper obituaries throughout the United States. We reviewed all the obituaries in our database and determined the average length of an obituary is 836 characters (with 42.92% of obits containing a photo). In conjunction with Adpay, we took that average obituary notice size and priced it with 625 newspapers across the U.S. Many papers had different pricing based on whether or not an image was included, placement on the page, etc., so we then determined each newspaper’s low, mean, and high price for the average obit. For this analysis, we used the mean price.

After examining pricing trends, we were interested in understanding how the actual in-market pricing compared to what people expected to pay to place an obituary. As pricing is very different dependent on market size in both studies, we grouped responses by market size.

Survey data was fielded via Cint. We polled over 1,000 people to determine how much they would be willing to spend on a print, online, or bundled obituary for newspapers in markets of various sizes. Recommended by Survey Monkey, Cint hosts more than 19 million registered consumers worldwide, giving researchers the ability to access and survey more than 70 countries in real time.

 

The combined research left us with three key observations:

 

1. People want to place an obituary. According to the research, 88% of respondents said they would place an obituary if a loved one died. This figure was consistent among all regions and ages.

2.  What respondents expected to pay for a print or bundled obituary was 13-90% lower than the actual obit prices we found through this pricing study and varied significantly by market size. In small markets, the price people expected to pay was aligned most closely with the actual pricing trends; in major metro areas, people expected to pay much less than the actual prices we found through the study.

3.  Online obits were valued highly relative to print at 70-80% of print costs.

 

Conclusion

People want to place obituaries in newspapers. The large gap in how much respondents expect an obit to cost and how much newspapers are charging (especially in larger or national markets) could be why the claimed intent from 88% of respondents does not translate into a similarly high level of actual placement.

Local community papers may have additional print opportunities, with interest in placing an obituary and expectations of cost being very much in line with the actual costs. Major metropolitan newspapers and those with national reach may expand their opportunities by highlighting online-only obituaries, as the interest in and expectation of online prices are relatively strong.

NAA Profile of Anna Costello

May 19th, 2016

Source: http://www.naa.org/News-and-Media/Blog/30-under-30-anna-costello-adpay.aspx

NAA announced the winners of its first “Top 30 Under 30” Awards program at NAA mediaXchange 2016 in April, which honors young leaders working in every aspect of the news media who are contributing to the future success of the industry. Over the next several weeks we will feature profiles on the winners, highlighting their work and ideas, and how they’re helping the industry grow and evolve.

Anna Costello started in the newsroom out of college.

“My first job was part time with The Tampa Bay Times,” she says. “There was always something exciting going on.”

She has been in the newspaper industry ever since, though now she’s on the vendor side.

“I think working in the newsroom was such a fantastic beginning,” she says. “You got to see how everything came together.”

She uses her newsroom experience and connection at her position as Director of Product Management at Adpay, Inc. She focuses on their Memoriams platform and making it most effective for newspapers.

She works with the clients to set up the product and after launch, dissects the metrics.

Costello is one of NAA’s 30 Under 30 Award recipients.

“I didn’t know I was nominated until very close to [NAA mediaXchange 2016],” she says. “When I read the nomination, it was wonderful, so humbling and really an honor.”Anna Costello

Mike Heene, Adpay’s CEO, wrote that Costello is instrumental in formulating strategies and tactics around transforming the newspaper obituary business into a national network.

“This involves changing the mindset and processes of two very traditional and entrenched businesses — newspapers and their funeral homes. Her deft touch and the pace at which she has affected this change is remarkable. It has led to industry-wide acceptance, including the endorsement of the Local Media Consortium. There can’t be a single person in the industry, of any age, who is changing an entire newspaper category like this, for the better,” he wrote.

28-year-old Costello has been on the Memoriams project since it started, back when they were writing code and doing focus groups. Now they are launching with newspaper partners.

She doesn’t see her age as an advantage or disadvantage.

“I’ve never thought of it that way, we all bring different experience and skill sets,” she says.

Memoriams collects a newspaper’s obituary rates, packages and deadlines. Funeral directors then sign up and submit obituaries into the program.
“From the funeral director’s perspective, they get to see the preview, schedule it to run and submit it to additional newspapers,” Costello says. “From the newspaper standpoint, all of that information comes in pre-approved and pre-paid for.”

Memoriams saves time and eliminates room for errors.

“We’re working on ways to make it easier for funeral homes, and families and newspapers to share obituaries and memories,” she says. “The importance of this is not lost on us.”

She has traveled to different newspapers and trade shows across the US.

“It’s really rewarding working with newspapers and funeral homes,” she says. “Each of them has a presence, history and an impact in the community.”

Ancestry.com Acquires Adpay, Inc.

May 18th, 2016

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PROVO, Utah, May 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com LLC, the largest provider of family history and personal DNA testing, announced today that its subsidiary has entered into a definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger to acquire Adpay, Inc., creators and operators of the Memoriams.com obituary input network.

“Memoriams.com is a great addition to the Ancestry family. Together with Newspapers.com, it enables us to help newspapers across the country strengthen and grow their business and presence in their communities,” said Brian Hansen, SVP of Emerging Businesses at Ancestry.  “We are excited to have this incredible team onboard and look forward to helping them accelerate their growth.”

Memoriams.com is the largest and fastest growing obituary platform, submitting to approximately 3,000 newspapers in the U.S. from a rapidly growing number of funeral homes.  Designed for funeral directors and newspaper publishers, Memoriams.com streamlines the obituary entry process to better support the needs of families, eliminate errors and reduce overhead for funeral homes, and increase revenue for newspapers.

Memoriams.com is the only national network allowing funeral directors to submit and pay for obituaries in the local newspaper and out-of-area publications in a single order. Newspapers partnering with Memoriams are seeing a 30% increase in obituary revenues on average.  Memoriams is a partner of the Local Media Consortium, representing more than 1,600 daily newspapers, as well as many other newspapers across the US.  Adpay, Inc. will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com Operations Inc., and will continue to be managed by its founder, Mike Heene.

“Since our first meeting, we’ve known that the Ancestry team, culture, and strategy is the perfect landing spot for us.  This is a great next step for our team, we are thrilled to be joining an organization that so clearly understands how digital platforms like ours can help newspapers grow their businesses,” said Mike Heene, founder and CEO of Adpay, Inc.  “We are excited to grow these platforms together.”

Memoriams.com joins Newspapers.com, which powers online archives, as the second newspaper-focused business in the Ancestry portfolio.

Newspaper Association of America Announces Winners of Inaugural Top 30 Under 30 Awards

April 20th, 2016

Adpay’s Anna Costello recognized as Top 30 Under 30 by NAA

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Arlington, Va. – The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) today announced the recipients of its first-everTop 30 Under 30 Awards at NAA mediaXchange 2016, being held this week at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. The newly-created awards program honors young leaders working in every aspect of the news media who are contributing to the future success of the industry.

The Top 30 Under 30 Awards program provides an opportunity to showcase the unique energy and knowledge that young professionals bring to news media companies. From journalists to advertising executives to photographers and social media experts, the Top 30 Under 30 winners give off an excitement for what is to come – and it is their ideas that continue to push the industry forward.

“So much positive change is currently taking place in the news media industry, and it is because of people like our Top 30 under 30 that I am more confident than ever in the future success of our industry,” stated NAA president and CEO David Chavern. “Thanks to them, news media are adapting and improving our products and offerings – from new technologies to innovative partnerships to increased reach and influence – so that we can continue to play a central role in the dissemination of important information.”

The below individuals were selected from an impressive group of nominees as the recipients of this year’s Top 30 Under 30 Awards. Each nominee was judged by an NAA/American Press Institute committee on the value of the nominee’s contributions to his or her company and to the industry as a whole. NAA looks forward to highlighting the work of these exceptional individuals on its website over the next several months.

2016 NAA Top 30 Under 30 Awards Winners:

  • David Beniot, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
  • Ashley Bethard, Digital Manager, Cox Media Group Ohio
  • Rafael Carranza, Digital Producer and Reporter, La Voz
  • Brittany Coale, Automotive & Grocery Manager, The Kansas City Star
  • Christina Contreras, Circulation Marketing Manager, The Arizona Republic
  • Anna Costello, Director of Business Development, Adpay, Inc.
  • Shannon Green, Senior Multimedia Producer, USA TODAY
  • Babak Hagh, Marketing and Multimedia Manager, The News & Observer
  • Saundra Hooper, Media Manager, USA TODAY
  • Ashley Howard, Circulation Digital Audience Development, The Oklahoman Media Company
  • Hannah Hunsinger, Staff Photographer, The Sanford Herald Newspaper
  • Elizabeth Jespersen, Content Initiatives Coordinator, GateHouse Media
  • Nathan Kelly, Video Planning Editor, The Arizona Republic
  • Nina Mandell, For The Win Managing Editor, USA TODAY Sports Media Group
  • Joe Martin, Editor-in-Chief, Houston Business Journal
  • Michael Matthews, Circulation Marketing Manager, The News & Advance
  • Clare McMahon, Client Strategy Manager, Democrat and Chronicle Media
  • Mark Pan, Partnership Strategist, Newsela
  • Clifford Parody, Reporter, The Ledger
  • Joshua Peterson, Publisher, Manchester Times
  • Allison Petty, Reporter, Herald & Review
  • Adam Playford, Director of Data/Digital Enterprise, Tampa Bay Times
  • Arielle Ray, Video Journalist, The Wall Street Journal
  • Joshua Robinson, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
  • Lauren Rolls, Reporter, The Albuquerque Journal
  • Richard Romeo, Senior Account Executive, Cox Media Group – Austin American Statesman
  • Allison Sebelius, Marketing and Event Coordinator, The World Company
  • Chris Segal, Managing Editor, The Daily News (Jacksonville, NC)
  • Elizabeth Varin, Web Producer, American News
  • Eric Webb, Social Media & Engagement Editor, Austin American Statesman

Editor and Publisher: Memoriams.com

April 20th, 2016

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Adpay’s Memoriams Network Increases Obituary Revenue by 30 Percent

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Nothing is more difficult than losing a loved one, but obituaries in the local newspaper can help memorialize that person’s life forever. Adpay Inc.’s obituary placement service, Memoriams Network, helps streamline the process for newspapers, funeral homes and families. Since its launch in 2011, Memoriams has partnered with more than 2,800 daily and weekly newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.

Here’s how it works: Memoriams allows funeral home directors to submit obituaries into a single order, add photographs, preview the obituary before submission and simplify the process of placing obituaries in out-of-market publications by eliminating the time spent searching for newspaper information and rates. The network configures all newspaper rates and upsells while allowing papers to retain 100 percent of local revenue at no cost to publishers

On average, Memoriams has increased obituary revenue for Adpay’s newspaper partners by 30 percent. And in 2015, for every local obituary placed through Memoriams one or more additional out-of-market obituary was placed 54 percent of the time, up from 24 percent in 2014, according to Anna Costello, director of business development.

Schurz Communications nearly doubled their local market revenues for their Northern Michigan properties after implementation, and at the Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Md., another Schurz property, the paper’s revenue per order increased 45 percent.

More newspapers continue to join the network, broadening the reach and success of Memoriams. In order to improve services, Costello said they regularly attend newspaper and funeral home conferences to stay up to date on the latest trends in both the newspaper and funeral home industries.

“We uncovered a need to effectively place local and out-of-market obituaries in a single order,” she said. “We have continued to spend hundreds of hours with our newspaper partners and their funeral directors to build and enhance a platform that fully meets this need to safeguard this critical content.”

Costello said obituaries continually top print and online readership “because the local newspaper is the source of life tributes in a community.”

“People may find out about someone passing away via social media, but the newspaper is the only collection of information that allows the family to reach beyond their own network,” she said.

For more information, visit adpay.com.

A Memoriams Case Study in Success

April 13th, 2016

From Editor & Publisher

Gannett Logo.  (PRNewsFoto/Gannett Co., Inc.)

Account Background

Now owned by Gannett, Journal Media Group comprises thirteen daily newspaper publications, as well as a number of weeklies. The properties vary in circulation size from midsize to the largest, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They are located around the U.S. from the east to west coasts. As with most platforms, JMG looks to standardize partner solutions, and this was no different when they sought an obituary order entry strategy for funeral directors. JMG already had confidence in Adpay based on years of successful adoption of the Click-N-Buy Marketplace solution. Therefore, after a comprehensive review, JMG chose Memoriams as their obituary platform of choice.

Previous Process

JMG’s funeral director processes involved back-and-forth with funeral homes for pricing and proofing, after receiving the obituaries via fax and e-mail. This was time-consuming and could be error prone. There was also an approval process required by the editorial team prior to final release. Revenues were declining in some markets, or remaining static. There were limited upsells, and those typically were not sold successfully once the obituary was submitted. Each market priced differently according to line, word or inch. JMG looked to standardize the look, feel and pricing across their properties and increase the options for additional run dates and add-ons.

Solution

JMG created a new style for obituaries and a new pricing strategy by word for all sites. Standard fields of data were collected to ensure the proper information was always submitted for the print obituaries. Fields required by Legacy.com were also collected, and submitted from the print obituary as required. The data was delivered directly back into their Brainworks front end to eliminate rekeying of the notices. Adpay also built a separate editorial approvals queue to review the print obituary, since their editorial and advertising teams were not allowed access to the same systems. This enabled an editorial review of the obituary data before it was released for pagination.

Upsells for additional days in print, banner emblems and logos for funeral directors were also standardized. Typically, after a two to three-week transition period, Memoriams became the required method of entry for funeral directors. On-site trainings in all markets made the transition easy, and adoption followed rapidly. In Milwaukee one of the largest funeral homes stated in a training, “It’s about time you brought this here!

Sherri Propis, Senior Director of Sales Operations for the group has this to say, “Our transition to Memoriams has been very positive. Overall, revenue, ad volume and order size have increased!  JMG’s funeral director partners are pleased with the platform’s ease-of-use, seven-day-a-week customer support and the newspaper network.  The Adpay team is great!  They worked with us extensively on best practices for set-up and conducted on-site trainings of our local Call Center teams and their funeral directors. They even provide quarterly reviews for each market to optimize and identify new revenue and process opportunities.”

Results

With the implementation of Memoriams, Journal Media Group:

  • Increased obituary revenue volumes per order across the JMG markets by 38%
  • 75% average adoption rate average by funeral homes, with some markets as high as 90-100%
  • Network volumes for additional obituaries average 58 month
  • Additional network revenues from out-of-market were $170,000 in 2015
  • Significant process savings and elimination of errors and make-goods
  • Increased upsells, particularly for additional days, funeral home logos and copies of the paper delivered to families. The latter counts towards audited single copy circulation
  • Free obituaries were now required to be placed through Memoriams, eliminating paid resources interacting with a free notice.
  • Eliminated errors and make-goods
  • Enhanced funeral director partner relationships with this time-savings process

Adpay’s Memoriams Network is Proving its Vision

February 2nd, 2016

Out-of-market obituaries nearly double to the newspaper industry.

February 1st, 2016

Denver – Adpay, Inc. announced 2015 year-end results that demonstrated Memoriams’ consistently improved value to the newspaper industry. Metrics reveal that for each local obituary submitted through Memoriams, at least one other out-of-area obituary was placed 54% of the time. This is up from 24% in 2014 due to the simplicity of adding additional notices and growing adoption from local newspapers. In addition, Memoriams continued to increase participating newspaper revenues by an average of 30%. Endorsed by the Local Media Consortium as the industry strategy for obituary submission, Memoriams is the only platform that grows this category’s revenue and volume through its exclusive network.

Memoriams’ milestones in 2015 included the configuration of hundreds more newspapers available for placement in the U.S., as well as expansion to Canadian markets. With access to rates for over 2,800 daily and weekly newspapers, funeral directors can now streamline their obituary efforts through a single platform. Memoriams is unique in that it is the only service to enable efficient submission and payment for obituaries in local and out-of-market newspapers in a single order.

Satisfying funeral directors is also at the core of Memoriams’ success. “I find that it is easier to submit to newspapers both locally and out-of-town. With Memoriams, you type the obituary once and can submit it to each newspaper, in their format, and know the cost upfront…without having to wait on an email or a call back. It makes more sense, and saves time, to use Memoriams,” stated Josh Hite of Memorial Funeral Home in Cornith, MS.

Schurz Communications almost doubled their local market revenues for their Northern Michigan properties after their summer implementation. In addition, network revenues increased by 43% for this vacation and second home destination. Michael Callahan, Controller at The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, MD, another Schurz property, also highlighted their local success. “Implementing Memoriams has been a very positive experience. Our revenue per order is up 45% and our process has been made so much simpler. Adpay is very easy to work with. This has saved us a lot of time and resources locally.”

Scot Morrissey, Publisher at The Athens Banner-Herald for Morris Publishing Group, had similar thoughts. “After many conversations with our local funeral homes, we recognized that we had an opportunity to improve our customer service, print format, and internal process. Memoriams was the right way to meet our needs and theirs. As important, our funeral home partners have thanked us for the clean new design and easy order entry. They appreciate having the power to complete obituaries 24/7, without waiting for our team. The setup was easy, our internal processes have become more efficient, and our relationship with our customers is better than ever.”

Mike Heene, CEO of Adpay/Memoriams observed, “Our vision from the beginning was to protect and grow newspaper obituaries, while satisfying the challenges funeral homes experienced with the process. Our partners’ success proves the strategy is working.”

About Adpay, Inc.
Adpay, Inc. is the technology innovator of online solutions to the media industry. Adpay’s patented solutions deliver print, web and mobile strategies that unify classifieds into a single, dynamic transactional marketplace. The exclusive Memoriams network for obituary order entry by funeral directors is the industry’s fastest-growing attack against online obituary predators. Adpay customers include many of the nation’s largest media groups including, but not limited to: Advance Digital, The Buffalo News, Black Press, Cox Media Group, The Dallas Morning News, Evening Post Industries, Journal Media Group, Lee Enterprises, Morris Publishing Group, Schurz Communications, Swift Communications, Tampa Bay Times, Times Publishing Co. and Tribune Publishing. For more information, go to www.adpay.com.

Media Contact:
Deborah Dreyfuss-Tuchman, EVP Sales
ddt@adpay.com | (303) 268-1527

Memoriams Featured in Classified Intelligence Report

January 30th, 2015

From:Yahoo Newspaper Consortium grows in the January 29, 2015 issue of Classified Intelligence Report
By Sharon Hill
With a new name, The Yahoo Newspaper Consortium of 176 daily newspapers has spent the last year evolving and expanding both its mission and membership.
Launched in 2006 to share content and technology, and to post newspaper-sold job listings on Yahoo’s Hot Jobs site, it was renamed in 2013 and has become the digitally-focused Local Me-dia Consortium (LMC). Now made up of 57 media groups and 1,200 newspaper, broadcast and pure play publications, Monster is its endorsed recruitment site. (Monster acquired Hot Jobs in 2010.)
LMC members include such notables as Cox Media Group, A.H. Belo, Boston Globe Media, The McClatchy Co., and Digital First Media.
“We changed our charter to include anyone in the lo-cal media space well over a year ago,” LMC executive director Rusty Coats told the AIM Group. “The News-paper Consortium was solely Yahoo and agreements were timed for the end of 2013. So, our executive committee got together in April, 2013. We began with 37 companies.”
Consortium members are polled twice a year to come up with 10 to 12 key digital priorities, after which vendors are sought. The Consortium acts as a collective, negotiating favorable terms on vendor agreements.
“Our executive committee looks at the ‘up and comers’ among the vendors, and takes them through our Project Runway, when they propose what the products would look like,” Coats said. “Then they are introduced to the members.” While Coats called participation “significant,” he said that no member can be compelled to participate in any vendor agree-ment.
“McClatchy doesn’t do Monster as we are partnered with CareerBuilder,” The McClatchy Co. VP of Interactive Media Chris Hendricks told the AIM Group. Hendricks is also chair of the Lo-cal Media Consortium’s executive committee.
The LMC signed several vendor agreements between September and November 2014, with Ad-pay and Legacy.com for paid obituaries, with HomeFinder.com for real estate, and with Tout for video. In February 2014, LMC also signed a three-year agreement with Google for search and ad-serving technology that enabled a private advertising exchange for its members.
On the 2015 LMC drawing board are automotive and big data.
Obituary services
While Adpay’s Memoriams and Legacy.com serve different obituary purposes for their clients, they have similarities. Both offer additional revenue opportunities for publishers, as well as customization and rich-media tools for the death notices.
Memoriams is primarily a back-end tool for funeral directors, providing 2,300 newspapers an average 40 percent revenue jump per obit. Free of charge to any publisher, Memoriams al-lows funeral directors to easily schedule death notices in more than one newspaper, and to provide digital proofs to families. This digital process is spurring families to purchase custom-ized upsells.
“Families are adding pictures, icons, and colored backgrounds and buying memorial plaques, oil paintings and additional copies,” AdPay EVP of sales Deb Dreyfuss-Tuchman told the AIM Group. “We’re changing the consumer experience.”
In contrast, Legacy.com targets friends of the deceased and their families, to whom it sells social, consumer-facing online remembrances.
While the two vendors aren’t creating a merged LMC product, they work together to enhance publisher obit revenue.
“Legacy.com’s and Adpay’s solution complement each other well, and our companies have a positive working relationship. That makes integration easy and rewarding for our newspaper partners,” Stopher Bartol, Legacy.com CEO, told us.
“We work very closely with Legacy because we’re able to send feeds of the data that Legacy needs directly to them,” said Dreyfuss-Tuchman.
Legacy.com introduced a Next Generation Obituary (NGO) premium platform for its 1,000 media clients in 2014, which added video, audio, and a prominent funeral-notice profile to its traditional classic obituary product. While LMC members can choose either level, the col-laboration has significantly boosted transition to NGO by long-standing Legacy clients.
“The papers typically charge a few dollars more for NGO to take care of the additional fee to us,” Bartol told us. “But it’s a really nominal amount.”
Legacy manages all aspects of the online obit section of the newspaper partners’ websites. Each paper pays Legacy.com a monthly hosting fee based on obituary volume and receives a monthly revenue-share payment.

Local Media Consortium Announces Partnerships for Revolutionary Obituaries Solutions

November 3rd, 2014

Partnership will provide death care providers with industry-leading products and improved access to local media outlets nationwide.

Nov. 3, 2014

DENVER – The Local Media Consortium, a nationwide alliance of leading local media outlets, announced agreements today with Legacy.com and Memoriams.com to provide a complete obituary solution for local media companies and death care professionals.

Through Memoriams.com, funeral directors may place correctly rated obituaries and death notices into over 2,700 newspapers and local news websites. Memoriams.com solves the funeral director’s number one challenge of pricing and placing print obituaries in out–of-area newspapers.

“The LMC has been intensely focused on finding a network play for this critical business category,” said Michael Heene, CEO of Adpay. “We’re honored to have been selected by the LMC to provide the only obituary placement network which connects newspapers and funeral directors. Memoriams.com is already bringing increased content and revenue to a number of the LMC members, and we look forward to providing this benefit to the entire LMC membership.”

By removing the obstacles and inefficiencies of placing obituaries in multiple publications, Memoriams.com’s integrated and easy-to-use system allows death care providers to focus on providing the best possible service to the bereaved.

Legacy.com’s Next Generation Obituary is a state-of-the-art offering that brings newspapers closer to readers with a dynamic new online experience; closer to funeral homes by featuring their brand and promoting their services; and closer to families by providing ways to honor a loved one’s memory like never before. In a recent survey of over 1200 respondents, the Next Generation format was preferred 3-to-1 over the standard obituary format.

“This new obituary product is the most dynamic, innovative, and complete offering we have ever put into the marketplace,” said Stopher Bartol, Legacy.com’s CEO. “Funeral home and user reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are excited that the LMC partnership will make it even easier for its member newspapers to access this industry leading obituary platform.”

The Local Media Consortium represents more than 50 local media companies in top markets across the United States and Puerto Rico covering more than 1,200 individual publications. LMC has an audience footprint of more than 450 monthly million unique visitors (aggregate), and LMC member companies serve more than 4.4 billion monthly page views monthly and more than 156 billion yearly advertising impressions.

“We recognize the importance of the obituary content funeral directors bring to our communities,” said Christian A. Hendricks, Chair of the Local Media Consortium’s Executive Committee and Vice President, Interactive Media for The McClatchy Company. “These valuable, high-quality platforms allow our membership not only to work more easily with funeral directors both locally and nationally but also to increase the service we provide in informing the public of deaths in their communities.”

The Local Media Consortium goes through an extensive, months-long process to choose partner companies, including polling media members about their needs and priorities, and vetting only the highest-quality service providers who have expressed interest in working with the Consortium. Local Media Consortium members are not bound to work exclusively with specific service providers, but the benefit to both members and the service providers is significant.

About the Local Media Consortium

More information about the Local Media Consortium is available at www.localmediaconsortium.com. Local Media Consortium members are: A.H. Belo, The Bakersfield Californian, Ballantine Communications, BH Media Group, Boston Globe Media Partners, The Buffalo News, Calkins Media, Columbian Publishing Company, Cooke North Carolina Publications, Cox Media Group, The Day Publishing Company, Deseret Digital Media, Digital First Media, The Dispatch Printing Company, Evening Post Industries, Freedom Communications, GateHouse Media, The Gazette Company, Halifax Media Group, Harris Enterprises, Hearst Newspapers, Herald Interactive, KTBS, Lee Enterprises, Maine Today Media, The McClatchy Company, Morris Communications, NewsdayNew York Daily News, The Nutting Company, The Oklahoma Publishing Company, Paddock Publications, Paxton Media, Pioneer News Group, Randall Family, Randall Family, Sandusky Newspaper Group, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Schurz Communications Inc., Scripps, The Seattle Times, Shaw Family Holdings, Sonoma Media Investments, Star Tribune Media Company, Swift Communications, Sun-Times Media, Tampa Media Group, Tennessee Valley Printing Company, Times Publishing Company, Times-Shamrock Communications, Trib Total Media, WEHCO Media and Wrapports Productions.

The media outlets represented by the Local Media Consortium include major market daily newspapers and leading local television stations such as The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionThe Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Chicago Sun-TimesThe Dallas Morning NewsHouston ChronicleThe (Jacksonville) Florida Times-UnionThe Kansas City StarThe (Memphis) Commercial AppealMiami HeraldOmaha World-HeraldOrange County RegisterThe Sacramento BeeSan Francisco ChronicleSan Jose Mercury News, (Minneapolis) Star TribuneSt. Louis Post-DispatchThe Tampa Tribune, WMAR, Channel 2, Baltimore; WXYZ, Channel 7, Detroit; WRTV, Channel 6, Indianapolis; WFTV, Channel 9, Orlando;  KNX-TV, Channel 15, Phoenix; and KIRO-TV Channel 7, Seattle.

For more information, contact:

Rusty Coats, Executive Director
Local Media Consortium
(813) 277-8959
rusty@coats2coats.com

About LEGACY.COM, Inc.

Legacy.com collaborates with more than 1,500 newspapers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and Europe to provide ways for readers to express condolences and share remembrances of loved ones. Legacy.com is headquartered in Evanston, Illinois.

The Next Generation Obituary is available nationwide to any newspaper partner who wants to offer it in their market.  For more information on the product, visit http://sales.legacy.com/ngo/ or email marketing@legacy.com.

For more information contact:

Kim Vander Velde
Legacy.com
847-570-4379
kimv@legacy.com

About Memoriams.com

Memoriams.com is a subsidiary of Adpay, Inc., a technology provider of online solutions to the media industry. Adpay’s patented solutions deliver print, web and mobile strategies that unify classifieds into a single, dynamic transactional marketplace. The exclusive Memoriams.com network for obituary order entry by funeral directors is the industry’s fastest-growing obituary order entry network. Adpay customers include many of the nation’s largest media groups including, but not limited to: Advance Digital, Inc., BH Media Co., Black Press, Calkins Media, Cox Media Group, Evening Post Industries, Journal Media, Dispatch Publishing Co., Gannett Co. Inc., Morris Publishing Group, Nexstar Television, Sun-Times Media Group and Swift Communications.

For more information, contact:

Mike Heene
Memoriams.com
303-669-1034
mheene@adpay.com

Digital Obit Features Proving Lucrative for Publishers

April 14th, 2014

News & Tech, Spring 2014

By Sarah Zook, Associate Editor, News & Tech

Paid obituaries have long been a source of revenue for newspapers. But in an increasingly digital media environment, classified sales staffs are rethinking the way they court clients and provide quality products to the families of the deceased. To that end, vendors are answering the call with systems designed to assist newspapers in the online obituary space.

Among them, Adpay, which offers Memoriams.com for selling and building obituaries.

Revenue increases

Memoriams.com has about 2,300 newspapers in its network, most recently adding The Dallas Morning News and U-T San Diego.

“The advertiser goodwill generated by Memoriams.com was reason enough to go with it,” said Mike Hodges, president and chief operating officer of U-T San Diego. “However, we also see enormous revenue potential both from custom upsells and expanded local obituaries, as well as in the network opportunity to receive out-of-market placements.”

The Fredrick (Md.) News-Post is another recent adopter of the platform.

“We brought them on when we decided to take the online entry for obituaries,” said Lane Fields, advertising director for The News-Post.

Although the paper took its time getting up to speed and experienced some technical challenges integrating the system to feed into its internal CMS, Fields said Adpay helped the newspaper through the process and set up best practices. Adpay conducted three training sessions for the funeral directors and News-Post staff.

“It was hands-on and she took her time and answered every question,” Fields said.

Some of the area funeral homes had worked with the same person on the newspaper staff for the past 20 years so it was important to The News-Post that those funeral homes were comfortable with the platform. The News-Post also wanted the options for different customers. Longstanding customers, for example, still wanted to be billed, according to Fields.

“It has really cut down on the time it has taken our staff to put out the obit,” Fields said. “We were treating them as display ads and it was very time consuming.”

Memoriams.com has also helped keep The News-Post’s budgets on target and in some months increased sales.

“We’ve made our budgets every single month since launching,” Fields said. “We’ve seen increases coming from upsales built into the site.”

Because the funeral home has the option of showing larger obits and can opt to put their logo in the obit, it helps them increase sales.

“I’d say that in some cases the obits are 20 percent larger,” Fields said. “It’s been quite an increase for us.”

Many newspapers are seeing a 30 percent increase in revenues with the implementation of Memoriams.com, according to Anna Costello, director of product management at Adpay. She attributes much of that increase to the funeral director and the family having the tools to see everything right on the spot.

Costello has spent a lot of time going to trade shows and talking to funeral directors in order to better understand the process from the funeral home’s perspective.

“We hear a lot from funeral directors that they used to cringe when a family wanted to place an obituary,” she said. The reason? The obituary process can get very complicated and time consuming, especially if a family wanted an out-of-area obituary. Now with so many newspapers on the Memoriams.com system, placing obits anywhere is a much more streamlined process.

“Now I’ve been hugged and high-fived by funeral directors,” Costello said.

How it works

Newspapers provide funeral homes with a variety of templates and prices for each obituary. The funeral home is then able to log on to the site while the family of the deceased is present, walk them through all the steps and then send the obit to the newspaper directly. The family can see the finished product and get a PDF before the obituary is printed. Payment is taken either by credit card or, depending on the relationship with the newspaper, can be invoiced.

The installation process is also simple, according to Costello.

“We create a custom plan — we create front-end systems and share a number of best practices,” she said.

The launch timeframe, for e-mail delivery is about 30 days and 60-90 days for full integration. In addition to offering hands-on training for newspaper staffs, Adpay offers in-person training for funeral directors. Alternatively, funeral home staff can be trained via a webinar.

“We understand that it’s a new process so we want to hold our clients hands through it,” Costello said.

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