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Q&A: Admiral’s new partnership with the Local Media Consortium and what it means for U.S. publishers

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With offices in NYC and Gainesville FL, Admiral is a venture-backed tech company dedicated to growing visitor relationships and revenue for online publishers. Admiral’s single tag SaaS platform offers solutions for digital subscriptions, adblock recovery, privacy consent management, email acquisition and revenue growth.

Admiral’s tools have been implemented on over 16,000 websites globally, and this month the company announced its partnership with the Local Media Consortium. WNIP caught up with Admiral’s CEO, Dan Rua, to find out more…

What is the problem Admiral solves for members of the Local Media Consortium?

Firstly I need to give a little background about the LMC – it’s a U.S. media industry group that negotiates deals with tech platforms that can help local media reduce costs and increase revenues. LMC represents more than 3000 local news outlets serving 400M+ unique visitors, and negotiates deals with technology category leaders such as Google, Facebook, Monster, and in this latest instance, Admiral. LMC also reduces publisher risk, and saves research costs and time, by completing a thorough vetting and testing process.

Regarding Admiral’s partnership with the LMC, it provides ‘group pricing’ terms negotiated exclusively for LMC members. Specifically, it gives LMC members a simple-to-implement, “zero dev lift” solution to managing:

  • adblock revenue recovery,
  • digital subscription growth,
  • and managing privacy consent compliantly

And because we recognize the resource and budget challenges facing local media teams, Admiral has a company-wide focus on ease of use for publishers: one tag, one vendor, one consistent visitor relationship focus.

These are all multiple publisher challenges? Why tackle all of them?

It’s really one challenge: building sustainable visitor relationships to drive revenue. Admiral’s platform promotes intelligently targeting, engaging and communicating with multiple segments of a publisher’s audience to maximize ARPU/ROI for each visitor.

Publishers, particularly local media outlets, have been caught in a perfect storm brewing between:

  • user demands for more control over their data and ad experience,
  • blocking technology innovation,
  • online privacy law,
  • ad industry overreach,
  • and the need for publishers to diversify revenue streams

All the above are connected to the visitor relationship, and a solution that addresses any single one of them on its own won’t be as effective. Admiral believes “relationships equal revenue”. Those relationships can be built by offering digital subs, ad-lite experiences, email or social signups, easy whitelisting, micro-transactions, and more.

When publishers address the multiple facets of the visitor experience, they are on a path to a more sustainable revenue model. Admiral’s platform provides both immediate value to publishers and visitors, as well as incrementally developing visitor relationships along a path to revenue.

Adblocking adoption has resulted in ad revenue losses of 20-30 percent. Simultaneously, privacy and tracking concerns are making it increasingly difficult to serve ads targeted with 3rd party data, reducing further the revenue from the ad impressions they can serve. New regulations such as GDPR, the upcoming CCPA, increased tracking controls in all the major browsers, have created a myriad of challenges for publishing teams to navigate.

In conversations with LMC’s VP of Revenue and Partnerships, Tobias Bennett, their initial focus was to identify the very best adblocker recovery solution. They were testing multiple vendors, and were interested in including Admiral’s platform. After exploring Admiral’s product strategy to address multiple visitor relationship needs, Tobias and his team recognized it could help LMC members avoid a “Frankenstein of diverse visitor engagement options” with a consistent VRM experience.

What are the core components of the Admiral VRM platform?

  • Whitelist-based adblock revenue recovery
  • Reinsertion-based adblock revenue recovery
  • Per-site and multi-site subscription, membership and donation revenue 
  • SSO, Email acquisition & social growth 
  • GDPR/CCPA Privacy & Consent Management

What is the Admiral pricing model?

Measure, our revenue analytics feature, is 100% free to use for LMC members, so we encourage publishers to create a free account and install our tag to see what revenue we can unlock immediately.

Pricing for additional modules is 100% performance-based, with a rev share just on the revenue we generate. Admiral only earns when it recovers revenue for the publisher, offering guaranteed net revenue gain. 

How easy is it for local news outlets to get started with the Admiral platform?

Publishers can get started and see results on their first day. After free signup, installing Admiral’s single Javascript tag gives a publisher immediate access to the Admiral dashboard and free visitor revenue analytics. 

Within 24-hours of tag install, publishers can work directly with Admiral’s Customer Love team to enable any of the visitor revenue modules for digital subscriptions, adblock recovery, consent management, and more.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

We serve thousands and have some great stories and results.

Capital Broadcasting Company wanted to quickly measure the adblock revenue impact on their property. The Admiral dashboard confirmed millions of ad impressions blocked their first month. WRAL then asked to implement the ad recovery module as well as test digital membership price points with intro, monthly and annual offers. Admiral had them set up within 24 hours, driving a new revenue stream.  Admiral subscriptions can help convert all visitors, not just adblockers. engaged Admiral to manage a multi-site digital subscription offer, spanning, and Admiral’s analytics tool identified an initial 31% block rate. By implementing the Engage module, Raw Story drove significant block rate reduction and ad revenue recovery. Adding the multi-site digital subscription offer has driven double-digit MoM subscriber growth. Overall, Admiral helped RawStory completely change their revenue mix and long-term sustainability.

What excites you about the partnership between Local Media Consortium and Admiral?

The LMC members are in a fantastic position to leverage VRM tactics. Local media brands are the ‘home team’, there’s brand affinity and a relationship already present. Multiple studies have shown that local media content is particularly popular with those consumers willing to pay for digital content. Whether it’s recovering revenue from adblock users or selling paid subscriptions, the solution to digital monetization challenges starts with first-party relationships with visitors, and that’s where Admiral shines.

For publishers curious about VRM or this partnership, we’re doing a joint webinar with LMC and publishers who are already growing revenue with Admiral VRM, at 2pm Eastern Time, Tuesday, August 27, 2019.  The signup link is here.  We invite interested publishers to join us and bring any questions for what should be a great discussion!

Thank you.

Photo by Vek Labs on Unsplash