Local Media Association is proud to host an Innovation Mission that will focus on — back by popular demand — consumer revenue and digital transformation.

The Philadelphia Innovation Mission, Oct. 16-18, is tailor-made for media leaders who are building subscription businesses and diversifying their consumer revenue programs. Unlocking consumer revenue is core to the sustainability and success of all local media. This Innovation Mission will reveal insight into how organizations are leveraging new technology to improve acquisition and retention, as well as how nonprofit or member support can foster stronger community ties — and provide valuable resources — that lead to new revenue.


LMA hosted an Innovation Mission in New York City in November 2018 that also focused on consumer revenue. There, participants heard from industry leaders at Hearst, The Wall Street Journal, Chartbeat and more.

Samuil Nikolov, director of audience development at Metro Market Media, attended with other executives from the Morris Multimedia family of companies. To provide an idea of what’s in store for Philadelphia Innovation Mission attendees, Nikolov shares how, through discussions and closed-door meetings, the NYC Innovation Mission helped propel real change at the company.

“The session that I was most impressed with was the one from The Wall Street Journal,” Nikolov said. “The small team there was taking on highly difficult projects and using machine learning to help them manage their paywall, by being able to look at every online reader individually and determine what action to take based on who they are.”

“One of the things that we took away from the trip was the need for us to build a dynamic paywall that can allow us to use targeted messages and offers for segmented audiences. We said, ‘We need to start tracking more intelligently who our audiences are, what they’re reading and what stories are generating subscriptions.’”

Nikolov said he was also impressed with how the small team at The Wall Street Journal took a project-focused approach to everything. Following the Innovation Mission visits, his team decided to implement this method while crafting its own subscriber retention strategy.

“We have a small team as well, so using project management tools to keep us focused is something that we’ve been able to implement for some of the strategies that we’re working on.”

On the Innovation Mission, Nikolov said, he was able to ask questions of industry leaders who are deeply involved in consumer revenue and subscriptions, as well as participate in valuable debriefings and takeaways.

“Sometimes it just helps for somebody else to share their experience to really bring it home for you,” he said. “What I like about the Innovation Mission and those smaller roundtable discussions is that you get the chance to network with executives who are facing the same problems as you are, and they’re trying to figure it out, and they’re sharing their experiences. You have some time to socialize with them after the sessions and get some real questions answered and very useful feedback.”

With new ideas inspired by the consumer revenue Innovation Mission in NYC, Nikolov said he would recommend Innovation Missions to other local media executives.

“They are very useful. I know that a lot of executives have to make a decision whether or not to spend that much money, but we took home some very actionable ideas and were able to make real progress.”

In more 12 years of Innovation Missions, this will be the first in The City of Brotherly Love, and one that should not be missed by anyone determined to make big strides in consumer revenue and digital transformation.

To get an idea of what’s in store, visit our coverage from previous Innovation Missions focused on consumer revenue:

See the full agenda and register for the Philadelphia Innovation Mission, Oct. 16-18, 2019.