LMA, LMC Taking Applications For Branded Content Beta Testers

The Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium today announce a call for entries, inviting media organizations to apply to participate in a beta project designed to help local newsrooms develop successful and sustainable branded content offerings and related revenue streams. Twenty or more beta testers will be selected to receive grant money made possible by the Branded Content Project, an innovative partnership between the LMA, the LMC and funded by the Facebook Journalism Project.

Local media companies that are currently showing profitability, revenue growth and producing quality content are encouraged to apply to participate in the beta group. For more information and to apply, local broadcast, digital and print media companies can visit the application page. The application will close on Oct. 21.

The call for applications was announced earlier today by LMA President Nancy Lane and LMC CEO Fran Wills from the main stage of Elevate!, the organizations’ first joint conference focused on innovation, transformation and new business models to sustain local journalism. Being held Sept. 17-19 in Chicago, a significant portion of the conference is focused on the Branded Content Project findings as well as the industry’s commitment to expanding diversity in newsrooms across the country.

This beta test builds on findings from the program’s seven alpha testers, a mix of broadcasters, print and nonprofit publishers that have been working since March to test go-to market strategies with brand partners and advertisers in their local communities.

“We are encouraged by the initial progress from our Branded Content Project research, which has shown this powerful revenue stream is helping many media organizations succeed and grow,” said Julia Campbell, Branded Content Project lead. “We believe there is potential for more growth, more engagement and more success for publishers of all shapes and sizes, and we look forward to working with this expanded group of betas to further hone and test our findings with the ultimate goal to expand industry wide.”

The alphas have identified best practices and effective branded content business models that can be rolled out industry-wide, and will be employed in the beta testing. This includes branded content templates to ensure transparency with customers, producing events with the dual purpose of educating sales teams and advertisers, implementing valuable R&D partners to assist with reporting, demonstrating the importance of cause marketing, and maximizing content that is attractive to audiences and advertisers.


The LMA and LMC define branded content as any sales initiative that uses content to engage the user and is paid for by a client who participates as part of the content, helps supply the content, or sponsors the content that is distributed across any platform.

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