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The Future is Public Service Media


Revised slides from a presentation I originally gave at WOSU Public Media in Columbus on Friday, December 11, 2009. I was asked to talk about the "future of public media" and gathered some stats, some …

Revised slides from a presentation I originally gave at WOSU Public Media in Columbus on Friday, December 11, 2009. I was asked to talk about the "future of public media" and gathered some stats, some recommendations and more to share with the assembled group.

Additional versions of this presentation -- including a voiceover edition in video -- are available at gravitymedium.com

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  • 1. c e r vi is Se The Future of Public Media John Proffitt gravitymedium.com
  • 2. About this presentation • Originally presented Friday, December 11, 2009 at WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio • WOSU: AM news/talk + FM classical/news + TV PBS + local newsroom • Somewhat modified slides + new voiceover
  • 3. Let’s talk • Tech, Media and Social Trends (our changing world) • The New Media Economics (created by the trends) • Public Service Media in Practice • The Future
  • 4. Tech Trends
  • 5. Broadcast vs. Broadband • Pressure mounting from wireless carriers (revenue), consumers (services) and government (universal broadband / competition) to expand wireless spectrum • Fight over OTA TV spectrum has begun; TV likely to lose at least something • Commercial OTA TV outlets may even be willing to give spectrum up • How do you like that DTV transition now?
  • 6. http://newteevee.com/2009/12/02/fcc-to-broadcasters-you-gonna-use-all-that-spectrum/
  • 7. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/20/mary-meeker-economy-is-recovering-mobile-is-exploding-and-the-iphone-is-awesome/
  • 8. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/20/mary-meeker-economy-is-recovering-mobile-is-exploding-and-the-iphone-is-awesome/
  • 9. Broadcast vs. Broadband • Broadcasters see a threat • Entrepreneurs see an opportunity • Broadcasters want protection from this threat and many will fight it • But you can’t fight 5,000% growth; they’ll just out-lobby you • Use this momentum to your advantage ( jujitsu )
  • 10. Mobile Internet Explosion: iPhone • 60 million iPhone / iPod Touch devices in 2.5 years • (not to mention BlackBerry, Android, Palm, Nokia, netbooks, ad infinitum) • E-mail, web, YouTube, photos, videos, music, books all in your pocket • 100,000+ iPhone apps in 18 months • 2G / 3G wireless + WiFi + iTunes sync • Fastest Internet service adoption rate in history: 8X AOL after 8 quarters
  • 11. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/20/mary-meeker-economy-is-recovering-mobile-is-exploding-and-the-iphone-is-awesome/
  • 12. Music Radio Beware http://gigaom.com/2009/12/07/pandora-is-coming-to-your-car/
  • 13. Disintermediation expanding • Hulu • DVD & Blu-ray • YouTube • Pandora / Streaming • iPhone streaming apps • Boxee • NetFlix, NetFlix streaming, RedBox • PS3, Xbox 360 • Podcasting
  • 14. Media Democratization: Tools + Distribution • Smartphones: pocket media producers (video, photo, audio, text, location, editing, uploading, social media) • HD video shooting under $300 + pro microphones, still cameras, etc. • Free editing tools, unlimited options for publishing, all basically free • RosenblumTV / Travel Channel Academy / NYVS • Free blogging, free photo sharing, on and on...
  • 15. Home broadband approaching 70% http://www.pewinternet.org/
  • 16. Media Trends
  • 17. Media Consumption • Americans consume 34GB of data/info per day • Daily info consumption up 350% over 30 years • We consume about 100,000 words per day via all media • Info consumption up 6% per year http://hmi.ucsd.edu/howmuchinfo.php • Gaming now represents 55% of the bytes we consume
  • 18. Everyone watches online video 25% of ages 65+ 90% of ages 18-29 http://www.pewinternet.org/
  • 19. Online video trumps social networking http://www.pewinternet.org/
  • 20. comScore Video Stats [Oct 2009] • 28 billion views by 167 million unique viewers in the U.S. • 84% of U.S. Internet audience viewed online video • Average online video viewer watched 10.8 hours of video • 125 million YouTube viewers watched more than 10 billion videos, about 83 videos per viewer • 42 million Hulu viewers averaged 20 videos, totaling 2 hours of video http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2009/11/Hulu_Delivers_Record_856_Million_U.S._Video_Views
  • 21. New Media Forms: TWiT Network • Live video streams, live chat, audio podcasts, multiple topics, rotating casts, 40+ hours of new content weekly • Tight demographics + targeted advertising • 2.6M live views/month; 4.6M downloads/month; 600,000 monthly uniques • Studio: 1 person is live TV director / audio / show host simultaneously • Studio built with consumer and low-end pro gear, including Skype • Revenues rising, over $1,000,000 annually; operated by 1 owner + 2 staff
  • 22. http://live.twit.tv/
  • 23. Shot in HD, streamed live Up to 4 live Skype calls Host is also Director Optional In-Studio Guests
  • 24. Public Media Trends: NPR and PBS • NPR gathering listener relationships directly • NPR web organizing around interaction, personalization, social media • mobile apps powering listening, reading, sharing everywhere • local station features are a hat tip; most stations don’t play at this level • PBS attempting the same; struggling with user demographics, leadership • viewer relationships gelling around producers, not retailers • most interesting work in progress: PBS NewsHour
  • 25. http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/pbs-newshour-comes-to-youtube.html
  • 26. Public Media Trends: CPB • May attempt Public Broadcasting Act reauthorization; may push for expanded funding for public service media, less commodity broadcasting • Attention shifting to interactive media, public service, engagement, news: Facing the Mortgage Crisis; Argo Project; PublicMediaCamp • Congress may boost next budget to $445M • CPB spends 67% of their appropriation on public TV programming and operations — does that make sense today?
  • 27. Public Media Trends: Public Insight Network • APM’s Public Insight Network continues to grow • Network effects + database management • Enriches, deepens and accelerates local / regional news gathering and public storytelling http://americanpublicmedia.publicradio.org/publicinsightjournalism/ [ Why isn’t this a national requirement for CPB grantees? ]
  • 28. Commercial Journalism “Collapse” • A little overblown, but still bad; Four terrible factors: • lack of vision, leadership or management at the top • disastrous financial choices (debt) driven by stock market pressure • aging journalists focused on privilege and history, not public service • less ad money generally + ads moving to measurable media (online) • Some papers out of business; others shrinking; “safest” papers are small local outlets
  • 29. Nonprofit Journalism and Pubcasting • Journalists want to emulate public broadcasting’s fundraising success via donations and advertising to support their mission • Journalists criticize pubcasting’s weak commitment to local news • Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) and Knight Foundation reports push for change in public broadcasting to address community news needs • Nonprofit journalism projects firing up nationwide: MinnPost; St. Louis Beacon (with KETC); Texas Tribune; spot.us; Bay Area News Project (with KQED); ProPublica (lots more) • Does “journalism” need to be nonprofit?
  • 30. thefutureofnews.ning.com
  • 31. Social Trends
  • 32. Online Communities • Low-cost simple tools make new communities possible • Building / managing communities is the new 21st century skill • Convene, host, participate, engage, interact
  • 33. Social media meets real world • People meet online, meet in the real world • AlaskaTweets.com: Tasty Tweets = $3,500 • Ignite Anchorage (or Ignite Columbus) • TEDxAnchorage (or TEDxColumbus) • Create new and deepen existing relationships • Pew study: New technology not isolating
  • 34. A Global Meetup (wherethehellismatt.com) http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/
  • 35. Social Media Explosion • 350 million on Facebook today — 2009 started with 150 million • 50 million Twitter accounts (9/09), adding 8 million a month; 2009 started with 6 million monthly web visitors • 50 million on LinkedIn (first million = 477 days, last million = 12 days) • Social gaming explosion; 69 million Farmville users • Watch the stats on the Social Media Counter
  • 36. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/20/mary-meeker-economy-is-recovering-mobile-is-exploding-and-the-iphone-is-awesome/
  • 37. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/20/mary-meeker-economy-is-recovering-mobile-is-exploding-and-the-iphone-is-awesome/
  • 38. NPR on Facebook • 500,000 fans of NPR • 2,000,000+ page views driven from Facebook posts in Aug 2009 • 4% to 8% of all NPR.org traffic sourced from Facebook • Updates to Facebook, up to 10 per day, still manual as of Oct 2009 • Majority of traffic not from Fan Page, but from friend re-posts / likes • Facebook presence: free
  • 39. The New Media Economics
  • 40. (the end of media scarcity)
  • 41. Economics of Abundance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuxMJ8lnYA4
  • 42. Economics of Abundance • Pubcasting flourished in media scarcity; we still think in the old model • Today media demand demand spread across “infinite” & growing supply; media is mere commodity • What’s scarce in media today? • Context / Relevance • Face Time / Truly Special Events • Community / Belonging / Identity • Surprise / Uniqueness • Time and Attention • Trust
  • 43. Public Broadcasting: Declining Economic Value • not invented here; national issues and focus; limited local relevance • available directly from the producer (often more conveniently) • deeply tied to schedules in an on-demand world • not particularly unique (especially TV) / too many competitors • services unfocused / content diluted across too many interests and markets
  • 44. Social Ailments = Public Service Opportunities • Slow economic collapse of the middle class: housing, jobs, income, healthcare, food security • Evaporation of effective political debate (he said/she said, left/right) • Media Abuse: false populism, reality distortion for power gains • Representative democracy seemingly “for sale” • Systemic financial collapse or deficit-driven malaise are major risks • Civic disengagement via feelings of powerlessness
  • 45. Economic Opportunities 1 • Context / Relevance: Focus on local service as job #1; become synonymous with local, meaningful and engaged; maintain, but do not deeply invest in low-relevance commodity products or services • Community / Belonging / Identity: Build, host, maintain communities with clear identities and purposes and help others do the same; always act to give community members feelings of ownership and belonging • Time and Attention: Help your community get the best service in the least amount of time; help them efficiently direct attention
  • 46. Economic Opportunities 2 • Face Time / Truly Special Events: Get out of the studio; create and attend events that give the community access to you and give you chances to listen; make your events extraordinary and host lots of them • Surprise / Uniqueness: Follow the lead of Radio Lab — make surprising and new things that delight your community • Trust: Every action in every sector of the company must focus on developing deeper and wider trust with the community
  • 47. Economic Opportunities 3 • News / Public Affairs / Promoting Civic Engagement: solve the problems of bad faith media, negative politics, opaque government, disengagement • May include digital media production education • Community Service via Media: identify problems, explore them with the community, help the community solve them via direct and indirect services • Niche Music Community: host a local community of music enthusiasts • Concern: Is this economically viable in a market of 2 million; could a national music community more efficiently gather support?
  • 48. How will we get paid? • Government, university, • Event fees community, corporate grants (people want unique access, they (if your work is relevant to want to authentically participate) community needs) • Fees for services • Advertising / Sponsorship (media training and production) (businesses want to be associated with positive community outcomes) • Physical media sales (for a little while longer) • Community Membership (people want to belong, they want Sound familiar? access, they want to participate)
  • 49. Will I be able to put up a paywall? • No
  • 50. Public Service Media in Practice
  • 51. ...one scenario...
  • 52. The Problem with “News” • 8 people ≠ 2 million people / 2,500 square miles • Mass news coverage is a commodity game • Service is focused on single platform (with declining economic value) • Service is generalized, not focused on community-identified needs • Service is essentially closed to outside participation • Service today lacks sufficient scarcities to be monetized
  • 53. Game-changing goals for news • Umair Haque, economist, Harvard Business Review, on the HBR IdeaCast • Don’t run a news factory, manage a news community • News orgs must focus on creating better outcomes • Details: The Nichepaper Manifesto
  • 54. “As we've been arguing at the Center for Social Media, successful Public Media 2.0 projects must directly http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2009/12/ftc-should-consider-policy-reform-to-support-public-media-20335.html convene publics to learn about and tackle shared problems. This means more than just handing out yet another serving of information to a surfeited audience; it’s about engaging users at every phase — planning, funding, production, distribution, conversation, curation, and mobilization — to make sure that all stakeholders’ voices are included. This ensures different perspectives are aired, and that content is interesting, relevant and accurate.” —Jessica Clark, Center for Social Media, American University
  • 55. WOSU News 2.0: Conceptual • Keep the commodity news (what happened), but do it more efficiently while, ironically, expanding your service (be masters of breadth, not depth) • Encourage news partnership: abandon competitive work, invite participation • Atomize, unbundle, share the commodity product; put your stuff everywhere • Make all news products multiplatform and asynchronous to reach the public where and when they are (mobile, radio, web, TV, widgets, apps) • Create a second tier of news focused on community-identified topics • Network the news with Public Insight Network, citizen journalists, everyone
  • 56. WOSU News 2.0: Actual • Boost the team to 12 • Reset and deeply clarify the mission of the team as “public service journalism,” not “news” • Two teams: • Newscasting • Central Ohio Insight (or some other “brand”)
  • 57. WOSU News 2.0: Newscasting Team 1 • 2 people • Rapidly aggregate timely facts from the community using every available source; religiously point to sources and hold them up for credit, link traffic, more (part of creating a news community) • Web+mobile first, radio second, TV third • Constant web+mobile updates; 4 daily radio newscasts; 1 daily TV newscast • All content includes embedded ads (sponsorship)
  • 58. WOSU News 2.0: Newscasting Team 2 • Audio newscasts made instantly available online • “Competing” news outlets granted full rights to rebroadcast (intact) • Goal: This team will build the premier news index for central Ohio; better than the Columbus Dispatch, better than anyone; if central Ohioans want to know what’s up, they’ll turn to your services first, regardless of platform
  • 59. WOSU News 2.0: “Central Ohio Insight” 1 • 10 people • Public Insight Network deployment, possibly in cooperative model • This team will replicate the “Argo Project” approach to topical coverage • 10 issues affecting central Ohio’s people and communities will be identified in deep collaboration with citizens (via a new and ongoing “listening project”) • Each topic has a primary journalist driving investigative and aggregative coverage to the web while also feeding radio, TV, print and select partners • Each journalist will also head up a “news community” around that topic
  • 60. WOSU News 2.0: “Central Ohio Insight” 2 • Outlets • Web: blog-style updates with text, still images, video, audio, data, links; includes all material released to all other outlets (master archive) • Mobile: either mobilized version of web or special app(s) • Radio: 1 NPR-style piece per week; 1 30-60min live call-in per 10 weeks • TV: 1 PBS-quality 15-min report per 6 months • Events: 1 forum-style event per 6 months (may also be broadcast)
  • 61. WOSU News 2.0: “Central Ohio Insight” 3 • Oversight via • Public advisory panel • Managing editor • Multiplatform content manager • Commitment: 2-year pilot • Topical coverage can be suspended briefly around major news events
  • 62. WOSU News 2.0: “Central Ohio Insight” 4 • Focus: Positive community outcomes (with metrics) • Advantages • Deep relevancy for the community • Opportunities for interns, citizen journalists, nonprofit partnerships • Attractive target for sponsors • Attractive target for granting agencies due to outcomes and relevancy
  • 63. WOSU News 2.0: A Bold Move • Not easy; impacts legacy service priorities positively and negatively • Clearly signals long-range commitment to central Ohio not for broadcasting someone else’s material, but for impactful public service right here • Puts WOSU on the leading edge of public service media innovation and demonstrates a higher calling than legacy news organizations • Dramatically improves WOSU’s media economics position; moves away from commodities toward unique, high-value work; reduces competitive friction, creates new collaboration and distribution opportunities
  • 64. The Future
  • 65. (innovation vs. stagnation)
  • 66. The Innovator’s Dilemma http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1vw23YHFds
  • 67. The Innovator’s Dilemma Market Leader: QUALITY Analog TV > Digital TV Market Disruptor: DEMAND On-demand, limitless, searchable, interactive digital video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1vw23YHFds TIME
  • 68. Best Days: Behind • The best days of public media are behind us if you... • identify radio and TV broadcasting as your mission • feel you can distribute national content better than the creators • can’t clearly articulate a core purpose and pursue it with passion • take media, technology, social or economic changes personally • let market forces drive your company
  • 69. Best Days: Ahead • The best days of public media are ahead of us if you... • focus locally and let nationals do their work • articulate a purpose that you, your community and a staff — hopefully the one you have — can passionately pursue as a true team • find new scarcities in a world of media abundance • know what benefit you provide the community (not what product) • like learning new things
  • 70. The Future is Public Service Media ....because...
  • 71. The Future is Public Service Media because... • Broadcasting being replaced by more efficient models; you’re being disintermediated • Content isn’t scarce, but attention, trust, context and help is • No one cares about your product, they care about the benefits you provide • Passionate people with purpose will out-perform legacy thinkers every time; someone will take on the mission — with or without you • Public Service Media is needed, it’s a necessity for our communities; public broadcasting is nice, but not necessary
  • 72. thank you John Proffitt gravitymedium.com Anchorage, Alaska john@gravitymedium.com