News & Press

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

ancestryFULLcolor (1)Adpay Logo_RGB

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.

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


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:

April 20th, 2016


Adpay’s Memoriams Network Increases Obituary Revenue by 30 Percent


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

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.


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 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.”


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

Batesville Partners with to Simplify Obituary Placements

March 9th, 2016

Integrated solution facilitates process with families and newspapers

Batesville, the leading provider of innovative technology solutions to funeral homes, announced an agreement with, the industry’s fastest-growing obituary order entry platform, which will allow funeral directors to price and place print obituaries in more than 2,800 newspapers directly from their website without re-entering data. The collaboration is unique, as it allows funeral home staff to submit multiple local and out-of-area obituaries in a single order directly from the Batesville website admin console.

The obituary is one of the most time-sensitive steps in the funeral planning process. While technology has made it possible to post and push online obituaries out with a few clicks, print placements have lagged behind. Funeral directors often have to place multiple phone calls to the newspaper and the family to discuss cutoff times and pricing before a placement can be confirmed. If multiple newspapers or cities are involved, the process becomes even more time-consuming.

“ streamlines the process, so obituary decisions and placements, both online and in print, can be completed during a single consultation with the family,” explains Troy Turner, Batesville chief marketing and information officer. “By using technology to enable this process, the funeral home can increase the efficiency of its staff, while elevating the level of service provided to families.” has built an extensive network of newspapers and developed an easy-to-use interface that gives funeral directors access to a database of U.S and Canadian publications to facilitate the placement of obituaries. In 2015, the company was named the strategic partner and provider for obituary placement by the newspaper industry group, the Local Media Consortium.

Anna Costello, director of business development for, states, “One of the things we have consistently heard is the importance of being able to guide families through the arrangement process, including the obituary placement. Through this collaboration, funeral directors will have direct access to the obituary options, pricing and publication schedules for newspapers, right from the management console of their Batesville website.”

Costs are a concern for many families today. The software allows the funeral director to view and print a detailed summary of obituary costs for the family prior to the order placement, so there are no surprises. Once decisions are made, the obituary can be submitted to multiple newspapers, directly from the funeral home website, without having to re-enter data. Tailored versions of the obituary can be sent to different publications at the family’s request.

Batesville is offering this powerful and convenient functionality to customers on all of its web platforms at no additional charge. After a quick configuration, customers will be ready to search and select newspapers and packages on behalf of the family, then submit obituaries to newspapers via without having to re-key the information.

For more information about the advantages of or to activate this feature, contact Batesville at 877.287.8661.


Batesville (, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE:HI), is the leader in the North American death care industry, offering a comprehensive portfolio of Burial Solutions, Cremation Options, Memorial Solutions and Technology Solutions. For more than 125 years, Batesville has been dedicated to helping families honor the lives of those they love.® Batesville’s innovation has changed the face of funeral service, from advancements in manufacturing and quality to patented features and memorialization offerings, technology and web-based solutions, and profit-enhancing merchandising systems. Our history of manufacturing excellence, product innovation, superior customer service and reliable delivery have helped Batesville be recognized by funeral professionals as #1 in product quality, service and innovation – 2 years in a row.

ABOUT MEMORIAMS.COM is a subsidiary of Adpay, Inc., a leading 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 network placement is the industry’s fastest-growing obituary order entry platform. Adpay customers include many of the nation’s largest media groups including, but not limited to: Advance Digital, Inc., The Buffalo News, The Dallas Morning News, Black Press, Cox Media Group, Evening Post Industries, Journal Media Group, Lee Enterprises, Morris Publishing Group, Schurz Communications, Swift Communications, and Tribune Publishing.


Batesville, Teresa M. Gyulafia, Director of Communications, Phone: 812.931.5084, Anna Costello, Director of Business Development, Phone:  720.259.0995

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

McClatchy Signs On with Adpay’s Memoriams; Charlotte and Rock Hill First to Implement

September 21st, 2015

Sept. 9, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. McClatchy Interactive, which operates 30 newspapers in 15 states, has signed onto the Local Media Consortium’s partnership with Memoriams, a product of Adpay, Inc.

The Charlotte Observer in Charlotte, NC and The Herald in Rock Hill, SC are the first McClatchy sites to implement Memoriams.

Aware of success already delivered by Memoriams at other Local Media Consortium (LMC) newspaper properties in the area, Kelly Mirt, VP of Advertising in Charlotte, said he “looks forward to replicating this success in his market.”

After attending a Memoriams launch training at LMC member Journal Media Group’s Anderson Independent-Mail, Chad Martin, Inside Sales Manager in Charlotte, witnessed first-hand the funeral directors’ positive feedback and appreciation for the system. Subsequently, Martin learned of Anderson’s immediate revenue increases and work flow savings with Memoriams. When Chad and Kelly next heard that the Evening Post Industries’ Post & Courier, Aiken Standard and Weeklies were also joining the Memoriams Network, signing on made even more sense.

The addition of McClatchy’s properties makes Adpay’s Memoriams network even more valuable for funeral directors and others placing obituaries and death notices in local and out-of-market media outlets.

Adpay partnered with the Local Media Consortium in November 2014. Through Memoriams, funeral directors may place obituaries and death notices into local newspapers and their websites. It is the only obituary order entry network that facilitates placement of a single obituary into a family’s choice of more than 2,800 publications nation-wide.

Newspapers in the Memoriams network are seeing an average obituary order size growth of 30 percent, according to data from Adpay, resulting in increased dollars from obituaries. The platform is available at no cost to newspapers and there are no revenue shares on either local or network obituaries. All media partners receive 100 percent of their local market revenue.

“We’ve seen tremendous acceptance of Memoriams across the LMC membership,” said Mike Heene, CEO of Memoriams. “McClatchy’s participation increases the overall value of the network for LMC members and the industry as a whole. We’re very proud to have this industry leader as our newest partner.”


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 for paid obituaries, with 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 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, 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.
“’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, 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. 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 a monthly hosting fee based on obituary volume and receives a monthly revenue-share payment.