Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Adpay is Turning 15! Here Are 15 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Us

February 16th, 2017

Happy Birthday, Adpay!

Adpay is turning 15!

Here are 15 fun facts you need to know about our team:

  1. Adpay was founded on February 19th, 2002.
  2. Our team is super talented! We have a ninja/5th degree blackbelt/movie star, Rubik’s Cube expert, a sailor with a Skipper’s rating, multiple professional photographers/videographers, several band members, and Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend in a music video.
  3. While Adpay is only 15 years old, our team collectively has 158 years of service at our company.
  4. We celebrate at least one birthday every month, except April.
  5. Our team collectively has 44 pets including dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, frogs, snakes and fish.
  6. Adpay launched the first and only nationwide obituary network, Memoriams, December 6th, 2011.
  7. Our office is based just outside of Denver in Englewood, CO.
  8. We support and travel to at least ten newspaper and funeral home industry conferences each year.
  9. 20% of thepeople on our staff are named Mike.
  10. Our team has hiked many of Colorado’s 53 Fourteeners with over 60 hikes completed.
  11. Team members have experience at a variety of media companies including Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps Company, Tampa Bay Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, Thomson Newspapers, Tribune Media Services, and New York Times Regional Group.
  12. We’ve moved offices four times, in the same building, to accommodate the growth of our company.
  13. We are diverse in age, with a 35-year age differential between our oldest and youngest employee.
  14. We have honorees of the Newspaper Association of America’s (now News Media Alliance) Top 40 Under 40 and Top 30 Under 30 awards.
  15. We were acquired by Ancestry in May 2016.

We truly want to thank each of you for your partnership and look forward to celebrating more anniversaries together in the years ahead.

— Your Adpay/Memoriams Team

Print Obituary Pricing Study

June 9th, 2016


About the Research 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.



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


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.” Acquires Adpay, Inc.

May 18th, 2016

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PROVO, Utah, May 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 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 obituary input network.

“ is a great addition to the Ancestry family. Together with, 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.” 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, 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. 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 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.” joins, which powers online archives, as the second newspaper-focused business in the Ancestry portfolio.

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

Media Contact:
Deborah Dreyfuss-Tuchman, EVP Sales | (303) 268-1527

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 for selling and building obituaries.

Revenue increases 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 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.” 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, 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 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.

See the article here.

Executive VP of Sales interviewed by Inland Press

September 1st, 2011

Deb Dreyfuss-Tuchman, Executive Vice President of Sales discusses Adpay’s growth and leading web and mobile solutions.

Read the interview on the Inland Press site.