Black Media Initiative Bridge Project: Audience Revenue

  • By Center for Community Media

The project is designed for Black-owned newsrooms who want to launch an audience revenue strategy. Applications are open until November 14, 2022.

Applications are now open for the Black Media Initiative Bridge Project: Audience Revenue, a free six-month program providing technology and design support for Black publishers looking to launch an audience revenue campaign.

This program, which will run from January to July 2023, is hosted by the Black Media Initiative, a project of the Center for Community Media, with support from Upside AnalyticsGet Current StudioNews Revenue HubPoool & SimpleCirc.

“The Bridge Project is intended to help make it easier for Black publishers to connect to opportunities that can help their organizations grow and flourish,” said Cheryl Thompson-Morton, Black Media Initiative Director. “It is our hope that this program focused on audience revenue will allow publishers to test and learn the best way to meet their audience’s needs and be sustainable for the long term.”

This project will support publishers with a high potential for generating audience revenue. The chosen publishers will launch a subscription, membership or donation campaign in 10 weeks and receive ongoing support throughout the six-month period. Newsrooms will also get technical, analytic and messaging support. Best of all, this program will make this upstart process free to publishers.

“Smaller publishers are valuable to their community and we want to help them capture some of that value and turn it into audience revenue,” said Nick Nyhan, CEO of Upside Analytics. “But smaller publishers are also super busy so we need to make it faster and easier for them to leverage some of the effective techniques used by bigger publishers. The Center for Community Media is going to help us do that for six publishers in the Black Media Initiative with great technology partners.”

Participants can expect to:

  • Have free access to a reader revenue system for six months to test the revenue model
  • Have support from a technology partner to help with implementation over 10 weeks
  • Receive design and copywriting support for fundraising appeals, if desired
  • Receive Google Analytics support and other coaching, if desired
  • Increase their bottom line by tapping into a new revenue stream

“At Get Current Studio, we think deeply about how to support digital growth of BIPOC-owned news organizations,” said Michael Grant, Founder of Get Current Studio. “We are thrilled to assist the Black Media Initiative Audience Revenue Pilot Program and its goal of bringing digital revenue streams within reach.”

“The News Revenue Hub is excited to partner with the Black Media Initiative at CUNY to help publishers launch a reader revenue program. This type of collaborative and experimental approach is an opportunity for all of us to learn from one another and advance the sector together,” said Christina Shih, SVP of Revenue at News Revenue Hub.

“Poool is proud to be a part of this initiative. Supporting the sustainability and growth of the publishing industry is our foundational goal and these kinds of projects are a brilliant step in this direction. We’re excited to get started!” said Poool CEO Maxime Moné.

“SimpleCirc is excited to partner with the CUNY Newmark School of Journalism’s Center for Community Media and participate in the Black Media Initiative Bridge Project: Audience Revenue program. Since our founding, we have been dedicated to helping publishers succeed with our innovative software and great customer support and we look forward to doing the same with publishers from the Bridge Project,” said Robert Vitek, CEO of SimpleCirc.

Candidates can apply now. Applications will close November 14 at 11:59 pm PT.