Local Media Consortium Launches NewsNext, NewsPassID

After creating a white paper based on working groups, the new LMC moves to offer a scalable, privacy-compliant consumer path to news, increased value for advertisers and enhanced monetization for publishers.

The Local Media Consortium (LMC) today launched NewsNext, what it calls “a strategic initiative to redefine local media’s standing in the digital ecosystem, improve its sustainability and create a more privacy-compliant, scalable way to connect advertisers with consumers.”

Bringing together working groups of ad operations, technology leaders and audience data experts, the LMC partnered with digital news media and advertising technology veteran Scott Cunningham to design this initiative and “chart a new path of sustainability” for its members.

The working groups’ findings resulted in the launch of NewsPassID, a local news advertising network and a single-sign-on solution for consumers. The solution will help publishers create a new consumer and advertising monetization strategy, create transparency and accountability in the advertising supply chain, and address regulatory, self-regulatory and platform changes.

It says marketers and advertising buyers “will benefit from the transparency and scale of the aggregated permissioned first-party data offered via the NewsPassID solution set.” Initial research, recommendations and pilot programs are detailed in a newly released white paper available at NewsPassID.com.

“The continued disintermediation of publishers’ digital revenue, impending changes to advertising attribution and emerging privacy regulations highlight the challenges facing local media at a time when people seek trustworthy news about their communities,” said Fran Wills, CEO of the LMC. “NewsNext is an important initiative aimed at leveraging scale to develop viable strategies for consumer access to news and monetization, advertising, and technology to help local media publishers navigate current and future challenges in the digital ecosystem.”

Local news outlets have struggled for decades to find a financial foothold in the digital ecosystem. They are hampered by a low barrier to entry for online content, consumers’ lack of appetite for paying for digital content regardless of journalistic quality, social network content dissemination, and third-party intermediaries in the digital advertising supply chain that result in fewer dollars earned for publishers and less efficiency for advertisers. NewsNext and NewsPassID seek to help news organizations mitigate these negative impacts, first by understanding the landscape.


“The LMC was the ideal consortium of assembled practitioners to establish the NewsNext program and architect the NewsPassID solution,” said Cunningham, who founded the IAB Tech Lab and is author of the NewsNext whitepaper. “Local news media is at a crossroads, as is its future participation in the open web. With the regulatory and marketplace changes occurring, journalism organizations can either rise to the occasion and take back consumer trust and data ownership or face extinction. We studied how news media aggregation alliances have been recently forged in other parts of the world. It’s time journalism be given a new bill of rights here in the United States and the NewsPassID solution begins that process.”

Introducing NewsPassID: A More Sustainable Model for Journalism

NewsPassID is designed to create a more sustainable model for journalism through both a Business (B2B) Advertising Network solution and a Business -to-Consumer (B2C) Single-Sign-On solution.

While these complementary solutions sets have valuable synergies, they are independent of one another. The Advertising Network (B2B) solution delivers an addressable advertising aggregation of news inventory and first-party data for buyers. The NewsNext initiative is owned by members of the Local Media Consortium, a network of 200 million users across 5,000 website domains, not including mobile apps, CTV or legacy media products. NewsPassID will allow buyers to access customized segments of aggregated local news publisher advertising inventory through preferred programmatic bidding channels. The pilot phase of the NewsPassID identifier and programmatic display advertising controls began in first quarter 2021.

The Single-Sign-On (B2C) solution is a news single sign-on interface for consumers across participating publishers signaling trusted, logged-in experiences. NewsPassID is a new privacy-friendly way for consumers to access credible content at scale through a single login. They can manage their personal data consent and determine their preferred access along the value exchange continuum from advertising to subscriptions. Through NewsPassID, consumers will also have an easier and more affordable way to read news from their hometown and other markets important to them.

“The LMC is owned and operated by local media companies across North America and has spent years cultivating a collaborative environment to help its members navigate the complexities of the digital landscape,” said Tobias Bennett, LMC VP revenue and partnerships. “Based on its success, the LMC is ideally positioned to create a new purpose-built, sustainable solution that reinforces local media relationships with consumers, reestablishes its position with advertisers, and strives to ensure that news creators are the primary beneficiaries of the value created by their work.”

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