Memo Creates Earned Media Insights Marketplace, Boosts Publishers' Revenue

With publishing partners like BuzzFeed, Meredith, New York and PopSugar, tech start-up Memo is looking to connect editorial outlets with an often missed revenue stream: earned media insights.

Ed Kim, Memo CEO, told Publishers Daily: “We know getting mentioned in editorial content can be a huge win for a company. But until now, it's been very difficult to prove or quantify that impact. That's what we're trying to fix.”

Memo hopes to simplify the process for all parties.

With Memo, brands can take the URL for an article, plug it into the Memo dashboard and see all interactions happening to that article, including how many people read their earned media, how long they engaged, how far they scrolled and where they came from.

The $100 fee is split between Memo and the publisher.

According to Kim, Memo has calculated that in some instances, PR firms, internal communication teams, executive management and others run up a cost of nearly $50,000 per investment on an earned media placement with a premium publisher.



Plus, publishers have not been able to tap into this revenue stream, despite doing “the heavy lifting of producing content and driving engagement.”

“We believe there is less risk of editorial conflict versus advertising where an editor is fully aware of who is placing ads on their site,” Kim said. “The biggest change is that we’re allowing publishers to participate in an economy that’s been built off their backs, and in which countless other companies are taking the monetary benefit.” 

Editors writing about the brands will have no knowledge of which articles are being purchased.

Kim adds that measurement companies estimating the impact of earned media are able to generate billions of dollars in collective revenue without compensating publishers. Many ad tech companies take advantage of publisher data that is leaked through the bid system, packaging and reselling it, again without compensation for publishers.

On the publishing side, organic awareness, audience engagement and purchase intent that comes from earned media in editorial publications have long interested brands, but often more credit is paid to search and paid media rather than editorial outlets.

“Publishers in general have not recognized the full value of their data and the ways that it can be monetized,” said Kim.

The platform will officially launch in January of 2019, but is currently available to a small number of PR and communications professionals and the feedback from publishers has been positive so far.

"Brands can see that they’re being written about, but don't know what's actually getting read apart from publicly available sharing metrics. It's very difficult for them to track organic engagement and aggregate data across publishers. Memo solves this problem:" stated Matt Minoff, Chief Digital Officer, Meredith Corp.
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