American Hometown Media Has Cracked the Code for Monetizing Content

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Dan Hammond, a highly accomplished magazine publisher and former community newspaper operator, knew he had valuable content, in the form of Just a Pinch Recipes, the largest global repository of user-generated and posted recipes.

He had already provided local community newspapers and their readers with similar content with his American Profile, Relish and Spry magazines. Not only were they distributed primarily through community newspapers across the US to almost 20% of all US households, but also were the third, fourth and fifth largest magazines in the country.

During 2009, he started the transition from an analog to a digital business model, with the creation of the digital architecture for JustaPinch.com, which launched during early 2011 as well as his new enterprise, America Hometown Media (AHM). It was recently named a top 15 Inc. 5,000 honoree in the digital media, food content and technology category.

The last piece of the puzzle was to monetize the enormous database of user-generated recipes to attract the same community newspapers that were his print-magazine clients and other news media operators. Despite the many capabilities of digital/computer technologies, a human is still required to make it work and Mike Meyers is that person. He joined AHM during 2016 after successful leadership positions with SheKnows, Glam and Women’s Forum. He was able to develop a platform for AHM that includes JustaPinch.com as well as other complementary Web-based services.

“After more than 20 years working with media publishers, I and my team understand what they want: engaging content, a new and/or improved revenue stream and an easy-to-use system,” said Hammond. “Our header-bidding technology has been generating two to five times more revenues than similar digital tools. AHM also provides various support services, including video production, SEO and social media.”

AHM is monetizing the millions of recipes on JustaPinch.com through its tech-based CuratorCrowd®, a free suite of cloud-based products. Publishers can add the Trending Content Exchange to their Web pages, so users are able to view, curate and even save recipes and other content. The installation is as simple as a single line of code, which is light and does not slow or degrades Website performance and a digital dashboard allows publishers to monitor performance and revenues daily.

“We tested the platform on our Shoreline Media properties and, based on performance, we are pleased now to extend it across all of our digital sites,” said Chuck Schading, Director of Digital Content for CMG. “Not only has the content and engagement been well received by our readers as expected, but also the new revenues for our digital platform have been fantastic.”

The Trending Content Platform tools through CuratorCrowd® platform include:

  • Trending Recipe Exchange™ – Generates high-quality recipe content and revenue for media publishers’ site through the tool’s proprietary widget.
  • Trending Video Exchange™ – Similar to Trending Recipe Exchange™, but providing video content from major sources, such as Reuters, Bloomberg, and JustaPinch.com, using the same widget.
  • Syndicated Content Engine™ – An easy-to-use tool to copy and paste AHM food content into publishers’ current content or to create new articles, both for digital and print, and even curated by zip code, to display content by readers in a publisher’s circulation area.

Since CuratorCrowd® was launched during September 2020, Coastal Bend Publishing, Houston, TX; Shoreline Media Group, Ludington, MI; Avant Publications, Wilkes-Barre, PA; AIM Media Dallas, TX; Champion Media, Mooresville, NC; CNHI, Montgomery, AL; and Community Media Group (CMG) West Frankfort, IL, are just a few of the news publishers that have become CuratorCrowd® partners.

“The pandemic has resulted in more people cooking at home, and while they are online, they are constantly looking for new recipes to offer their families a wider selection of cuisine,” said Hammond. “That is why this content placed on a publisher’s site enhances reader engagement. This trend has doubled food and recipe searches this year.”

Hammond added the publishers who have partnered with AHM are earning significant new revenues while enhancing reader engagement. Jerry Lyles, who previously led the successful magazine partnerships with news operations, is now spearheading this rollout with publishers. Imagine how featuring an extensive selection of regional recipes and dishes can allow a reader in Montana to try the best of southern soul-food and residents of Mobile, AL can enjoy classic New England clam chowder and seafood dishes.

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