- Public media should go to VOD (Video on Demand) on the internet as attention is the challenge - distribution is not the problem. Of course monetization is another problem for public media. Media cannot be a one-way company in a two-way world.
- The old media presented a push approach and treated the audience as mute. Now they can see the explosion of self-expression. The old media cannot ignore the public are creators, users, and speakers.
- The old media will try to make the public ‘feel’ as though we are interactive which may not be the case. A new way to assess media delivery is that old models are broadcast, cable TV, public TV and the new is “Independent Noncommercial TV” and the “networked individual.”
- Much growth still needs to occur within the new media users as the current 40 million bloggers amount to less than one percent of the world population – public media need to reach the other 90 percent. At the same time, the internet, while useful, timely and convenient lacks public trust – to the extent local television ranks higher.
Low costs of participatory media and attractive business models
The old adage of “If you build it, they will come” has changed to “if they build it, they will come.” Participatory media presents many attractive low cost and high value content that in turn affect the criteria investors use to fund new participatory online sites.
Participatory media costs
- Low costs to attract participatory media
- Low customer acquisition costs
- Low customer retention
- Low marketing costs
- Low content development costs
- Low technology (open source)
Characteristics of quality content
- Easy to use
Challenges of public-private
The challenges private-public media face are not different than those of commercial media – the latter are asking the same questions. Both commercial and public media need to do the following:
- change their orientation and embrace interactivity,
- understand how technology empowers the consumer,
- redefine the concept of content,
- deepen advertising and commerce,
- reinvent business models, and
- view the process with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Public media should learn from these decisions to create the following services and interactivity
- Microsoft is now into this as well
- Open TV, and
- Visible World.
In order to the emerging media movements to be sustainable, public media must have a public purpose. The trends all show the revolution has arrived, especially as commercial TV stations are putting their content on the web for free. Once measured by the household (radio, television), media consumption metrics are per the individual (internet, on demand); thus, changing the benchmarks and terms of media.
Seek strategic partnerships
There are a variety of partnerships that public media should pursue. Serving as a content provider to other businesses can include providing local content.
At our Narrowcaster, Podcaster, Webcaster vs. Broadcasters conference, participants discussed working with cable and Micromovies operators to obtain local advertisers as these operators have a local connection.
Media companies with such partnerships have increased local advertising revenue growth. Public media should do the same and align with consumer technology companies to expand digital delivery options.
There is a problem of the “needle in a haystack” of online media companies/services
In US a new online firm is funded every day and they are all excited about the Web 2.0 world. Audience trends show that new outlets of public participatory media can grow exponentially as early as the first year, such as YouTube growing up to 6.5 million users and Technorati reaching 1.5 million users.
Acquisitions are increasing
Traditional media are being squeezed, which are cash rich that can also be a liability. New media have had financial success, but the business models are moving quickly. Now, old media is competing with new media to buy new-new media. How to evaluate participatory media websites through the main development stages.
- Focus on the team.
- Assess how the idea compares to the existing competition.
- Review the development time and cost.
- Don’t emphasize the business model specifics – it is premature.
- Look at a valuation range: how many millions upfront?