Tracy INTRO HERE: In fall 2009, we completed a year-long study that was born out of a desire to change the game for media consortium members and help us become the shapers of tomorrow’s media—moving from an organization that provides support in a crisis to one that helps members lead in the future. Make sure to thank Tony for his hard work in producing this project. Erin and I are going to talk through four key recommendations from the report that we can use to shape the consortium in the years to come.
TVS: We came out of this report with 4 recommendations for independent media to lead in the next decade. They are: 1.) Change internally. We need to rethink how media organizations and their affiliated networks (like TMC) are structured—and what types of organizations and even individuals are a part of tomorrow’s landscape. 2.) Increase experimentation. There is no magic bullet that will make yesterday’s media sustainable. Instead, we’re looking at a new frontier, in which everyone is rushing to stake a claim. We’ll talk about ways that organizations can win through rapid, low-cost experimentation and what TMC can do to help throughout the course of this meeting. 3.) Leverage unique role of the consortium. We need to find new ways to collaborate, share best practices in business and editorial models, and adapt new technologies. In many ways, we’re a step ahead in having the infrastructure the MC provides. 4.) Building audiences as communities. Media consumers have more power than ever before and will gravitate to the most user-focused, interactive media ventures. This is especially true in regards to emerging platforms such as mobile. TMC members can reach broader audiences by tapping users’ potential as producers, community builders and agents of social change.
Erin: The Media Consortium and its members can use these recommendations to shape tomorrow’s media landscape, develop game-changing projects, and lead. So from that, let’s dive a little deeper into the potential shape these recommendations could take.
ERIN: First up is changing internally. Some of these changes are already happening, and can be explained by comparing the old and new value chains of journalism. But first! What is a value chain? A “value chain” is a series of activities that add value, be it financial or qualitative, to a product or service. The financial success of any business model depends on the organization’s ability to capture value.
ERIN: Here is journalism’s old value chain. It moves in two directions: from outlet (left) to consumer (right) and from finances down to the media organizations. The height of each blue role represents its bargaining power or level of influence. Point out that little arrows are drops in the bucket.
ERIN: Since the market is still forming the new value chain, independent media can work together to experiment with new models. I would even go so far as to say that we must do this, or else the bigger players will dictate the marketplace for us. Read top text, then say, But in order to figure that out, we have to answer the following questions:
ERIN: As you can see, the emerging value chain is much more complex. The sources of funding/revenue are more diverse and each feeds into new portions of the value chain. The darker blue items represent new and emerging roles that media entities can play. FIRST, we’re seeing new subsidy/funding models for journalism. CHANGE ANIMATION: wipe left to right, Walk through the different roles that media orgs provide, but perhaps note some of the commonalities in the support chain.
TRACY STARTS: This is a key question for TMC as it goes forward. The Big Thaw started out as a project with the goal of identifying game-changing opportunities to grow collective audience by 3-5 times beyond our existing scale. But need to redefine our makeup and membership criteria to maximize collective impact on the public sphere and new business/revenue generation models for ongoing sustainability. Shifting roles: for example, New roles dubbed “Journalpreneurs” (journalist-entrepreneurs), who integrate best practices from business and technology with journalism’s public-interest mission… By integrating Journalpreneurs, media organizations can build a broader, more diverse ecosystem of people who produce content in non-traditional and entrepreneurial ways. Question to ponder: could we build a stronger eco-system by leveraging our existing members and strong journalistic traditions to include new voices, be they entrepreneurs, citizen journalists or media advocates?
TRACY: Device proliferation and convergence Convergence is not only about creating different content for different platforms, but also about enabling people to easily consume and share any type of content using any platform. Strategic technology “ Many organizations only see one piece of the puzzle and want to do small experiments—hire an intern and a few people here and there—without seeing how that impacts the rest of the media,” “People who do have knowledge of the other pieces of the puzzle can do real systemic innovation, and this is the highest area to impact.” said Ashish Soni, Director of Information Technology at the University of Southern California.
TRACY: Mass mobile media: Although the use of mobile phones has reached unprecedented levels worldwide, we’re still in the infancy stages of how to integrate mobile for content delivery, engagement, revenue and more. If independent media helps more people use the media-making power in their pockets, they will revolutionize journalism.
TRACY: Philanthropy has been the most prevalent model for many independent media organizations, although this source of revenue alone is often insufficient. We need to look at other revenue models, including some ideas we see here. We’ll be talking about these ideas and other revenue models later today. Increasingly, for-profit and non-profit publishers alike will grow strongest with a greater mix of these revenue streams.
ERIN: Talk about TMC projects or potentials that are already helping. Make sure to note impacting public perception and interaction with the sector. Solving Filter Failure: News will likely become even more fragmented and granular than it is now. Users will increasingly turn to curators to figure out what news they should be reading. We’ve already taken some steps to address this issue with the mediawires project—our bloggers curate content related to key issues and then pass those recommendations on to new audiences. But we need to take it even further (CLICK) Radical new ways of meaning-making and filtering: The next phase of filtering will come via the “Semantic Web, which depends on how we will organize and structure information online. This isn’t just tagging and archiving content from site to site. The semantic web is basically web 3.0, in which information is even more tailored to a users needs and likes.
ERIN: Leveraging the consortium could also be about brokering deals with outside entities and media organizations that help us expand our work’s scope and reach. We could work to secure better deals for members on using shared platforms for micropayments, or perhaps creating ways to deliver content to ereaders, mobile phones, social networks and more.
ERIN: Building active communities among users is exponentially growing in value. Communities are often defined by depth —a measure of their overall participation, identity, interest and expertise. These contribute to a sense of loyalty and shared ownership. Scaling up independent media falls into the breadth category. whether it is geographical reach, aggregation of many local or “niche” communities, size of membership or the number of links to a site…when it comes to viral marketing, it is the breadth of a network (formal or informal) that amplifies content. The puzzle for independent media is how to harness the breadth of the sector and the depth of individual communities simultaneously.
TRACY TAKES THIS—BEYOND PALE MALE STALE!!!!!
Erin: We’re already doing some work in a few of these areas, but it’s time to think big about taking it to the next level. That’s what we’re hoping to cover with the next two days of programming. Any questions?
TMC 2010 Meeting
<ul><li>“ The stakes are very high for independent media. Will it change? Or, will it atrophy? Independent media can become the dominant media in society. Who would have dreamed that 30 years ago?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics </li></ul></ul>
II I IV III Big Thaw Recommendations: Four Decisive Moves CHANGE INTERNALLY New models will most likely come from new players. INCREASE EXPERIMENTATION Greater Experimentation will win. LEVERAGE UNIQUE ROLE OF CONSORITUM Standing together will be more valuable than working alone. BUILDING AUDIENCES AS COMMUNITIES Decentralized communities will create the greatest impact. Changing internally Increasing experimentation Building audiences as communities Leveraging unique role of a consortium
<ul><li>“ Most people assume that the future is something to be predicted rather than created. The future does not simply happen to us; we shape it. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Donella H. Meadows, Global Citizen </li></ul>
Changing Internally I Changing internally What is a Value Chain ?
Journalism’s Old Value Chain This chain is delineated with clear roles and exchanges of value. Each link in the blue value chain represents a role that a media organization might play. Green represents funds or subsidy support writing/ producing publishing & broadcasting distributing Content owners Paid marketing, sales & fundraising staff Paid suppliers consumption Subscription Single-pay Public radio/TV Granted broadcast licenses Nonprofits granted tax breaks selling other products philanthropy or government creative agencies advertiser media planning & buying
But the value chain has changed. <ul><ul><li>What role do we play in the value chain now? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How could our role become most valuable to our communities ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it best to focus primarily on one role or integrate many roles at once? </li></ul></ul>
Each link in the blue value chain represents a role that a media organization might play New value chain (working model) Green represents funds or subsidy support Source: compiled from interviews. The new value chain is a working model based on observed industry dynamics. combining & sharing writing/ producing retrieving & storing content publishing Search Discovery Cloud Computing E-readers connecting Community Conversational marketing In-person events making impact Social change Policy change distributing/aggregating Offline & online Convergence (cross platforms & devices) Content owners Increasingly includes “Journalpreneurs” Content owners consumption Subscription & Single-pay Micropayments selling other products philanthropy or government advertising volunteer & open-source labor
Changing Internally I Changing internally What if… we evolved our composition to reflect the emerging field ? Traditional roles of media makers are changing.
Increasing Experimentation Device proliferation & convergence Strategic technology Increasing experimentation II What if… we joined early in technology experiments?
Increasing Experimentation Increasing experimentation II What if… we joined early in technology experiments? Mass mobile-media
Increasing Experimentation Increasing experimentation II Increasing experimentation II What if… we collectively tested new revenue models? <ul><li>What revenue models are emerging? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Philanthropy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating additional channels of distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combining free and premium content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tapping user subsidies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilizing news as a “loss leader” </li></ul></ul>
Leveraging a Consortium Solving filter failure Radical new ways of meaning-making and filtering Leveraging unique role of a consortium III What if… we standardized raw data, metadata & metrics?
Leveraging a Consortium Leveraging unique role of a consortium III What if… we actively coordinated deal making? Coordinating around micropayments Deals around devices
Audiences as Communities From audiences to communities Audiences can grow in two different directions simultaneously: Broader and deeper. IV Building audiences as communities What if… we made it easier to deepen communities at a larger scale? .
Audiences as Communities IV Building audiences as communities Changing demographics Shifting demographics create both challenges and opportunities for content producers. What if… we made it easier to deepen communities at a larger scale? .
What if… we evolved our composition to reflect the emerging field ? Increasing experimentation II Changing internally I Building audiences as communities IV Leveraging unique role of a consortium III What if? Key questions for strategic development What if… we actively coordinated dealmaking? What if… we standardized raw data, metadata & metrics? What if… we collectively tested new revenue models? What if… we joined early in technology experiments? What if… we mounted a concerted effort to go global? . What if… we made it easier to deepen communities at a larger scale? .