Chief Strategy Officer, Local Media Association
Jed Williams is Chief Strategy Officer of the Local Media Association. He previously held executive positions with BIA/Kelsey; Main Street Hub; and Vendasta, a sales and marketing software company where he managed media partnerships.
If you really, through data, know who your audience is and know who the people are that are passionate about your brand and your different content and experiences, can you build out those content experiences and overall experiences into something more robust that could either be sub-brands or standalone brands, but for which people really engage with you at a different level and may be willing to pay you? Whether that’s around prep sports, politics, lifestyle content and real estate, whatever it might be.
With newspapers, so much of our work and my work is around digital subscriptions. We’re a big partner at a Google News Initiative program called the Digital Subscriptions Lab, where we’re working with 10 different publishers to help them optimize their strategy and their tactics in the short term to create digital subscribers and in the longer term to grow them even more so that digital subscriptions can truly be a meaningful and a very big part of their business transformation. …
We have corporate publicly traded companies, we have large, we have small and we’re working with Toronto and learning and we're working with literally Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Portland, Maine. It’s U.S., it’s Canada, it’s Puerto Rico, it’s very much a North American project, diversity of inclusion and diversity of types of companies is very important here so that we can really test out: Can digital subscriptions be a healthy and growing and hopefully sustainable model or at least a big part of a sustainable model for newspaper companies?
They don’t have the same urgency today from a cash perspective, but their businesses will get disrupted. Traditional core viewers will continue to age, new viewers will be harder to reach, more people will cut the cord, etc. And so what are broadcasters doing to strengthen and diversify and sort of reinvent their brands for the next 10 to 20 years and reinvent their business models around that, particularly in the digital world?