(November 13, 2019) — Accelerate Local, designed by Local Media Association to reinvent business models for news, today announced The TV Membership Project to research and develop new modes of consumer engagement and revenue via membership and other direct to consumer models for local television broadcasters.

FOX Television Stations, Meredith Corp. and WRAL/Capitol Broadcasting Company will serve as pilot media company partners in this unique project, the first for Accelerate Local aimed specifically at broadcasters.

“This is truly a first-of-its-kind project, and we’re eager to uncover how TV broadcasters can tap into the membership economy to create new consumer revenue streams,” said Jed Williams, chief strategy officer, Local Media Association. “Testing new business models is exactly why we developed and launched Accelerate Local.”

Accelerate Local, owned by LMA, and the pilot partners will each invest significantly in this initiative. The project includes two distinct phases:

  • Accelerate Local will partner with leading research and data firms to conduct in-depth customer research. Magid will deploy focus groups and surveys to uncover key trends and customer motivations by segment. LEAP Media Solutions1, a BlueVenn company, will manage and enhance consumer data collected on behalf of participants.
  • Upon completion of the research phase of the project, partners will receive custom insights and actionable recommendations, which they will then use to inform the actual design, build and launch of paid membership models. Participants will share strategies and best practices, and learn from each other, to accelerate progress.

“The entire industry will benefit from this nine-month project,” said Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association and Local Media Foundation. “We’ll share what we learn, especially from the consumer research, every step of the way. The first report will be published by the end of the year.”

“TV broadcasters have strong local brands. A membership model presents a unique opportunity to extend those brands with new products and services,” said Peter Newton, managing director, Accelerate Local. “This project’s deep consumer research will help them figure out the best way to do that.”

About Accelerate Local

Accelerate Local was created to ensure a healthy future for local journalism, which is essential to a strong democracy, by reinventing business models for news. It was launched earlier this year by Local Media Association and the Local Media Foundation.

Accelerate Local has launched or partnered on six projects in 2019 including:

In total, 55 strategic media partnerships have been created in Accelerate Local labs and experiments, involving 45 media companies including 30 newspapers, nine broadcasters and six digital news sites.

About Local Media Association/Local Media Foundation

Local Media Association (localmedia.org) is a thriving and innovative organization that serves more than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, digital news sites, radio stations and research & development partners. LMA is the only industry trade organization that brings all local media together for the purpose of sharing, networking, collaborating and learning. The association’s focus is on future business models and maximizing opportunities on the digital side of the business. This is accomplished via cutting-edge programs including its business model accelerator, Accelerate Local, as well as conferences, webinars, research, training, innovation missions, chief digital clubs and more. The Local Media Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable trust that supports the mission of LMA and the essential role of local news and information in a healthy democracy.

About the project partners

Magid is a consumer-centered business strategy company delivering courageous thinking that shapes better experiences, products and services. Since 1957, thousands of local and global brands in over 40 countries have engaged the firm for bold ideas that have helped achieve innovation and success. The Magid team is passionately curious and driven by the pursuit of improving human experiences with every engagement.

LEAP Media Solutions, a BlueVenn company, touches every aspect of your business. We make it better — more effective, more efficient and more profitable — by leveraging data, technology and really smart people to grow, activate, engage and monetize audiences. We start by collaborating with you to build the most robust, comprehensive database in your market. And then we deploy it to deliver data-optimized campaigns and marketing solutions that result in audience and revenue growth.