At a May event at the Media Innovation Studio, I talked about what open media innovation is in the context of a 48 hour startup hack.
This could be shared paywalls, adveritising networks, shared print distribution, or cooperative news organisations. Here are some examples:
Piano Media, a cross-publication model, where pooled premium content from different media outlets is set behind a paywall, initially launched in Slovenia and Slovakia.
Diversity, an online advertising network that pools many media sites together into one global advertising network of standard advertising formats and sizes, thus creating a potential global audience reach for advertisers.
Contributoria, a member-supported, crowdfunding, collaborative writing platform
Banyan Project, a news cooperative owned by the community it covers
Hebe media recently moved to place their Leeds City Talking publication inside the Yorkshire Post - allowing the Yorkshire Post sales team to take charge of selling the advertising. This seems like a collaboration in the making. What Yorkshire Post gains is a great product and community, tapping into an audience that otherwise eluded them. What Hebe media gain is piggybacking on distribution, and a sales team. Only time will tell if it turns out to be more of a sub contract, or even an exit strategy.
An open data fund. The announcement that the time is right for an open data fund could not be more true. What this is, or what form it takes, is yet to be fleshed out. But the concept could be developed for collaborative revenue capture. If media organisations chose to work together to pool resources around data, rather than work in competition, in order to generate revenues around that, I would class this as collaborative revenue capture.
Yet there seem to be more unanswered questions than answers. What is collaborative revenue capture, if anything new at all? What is needed to make it work? What are the motivations behind those media pooling resources or collaborating? In what ways is this trend new? What are the risks or barriers?
At the Media Innovation Studio we are proposing a series of methodologies to probe into this a little deeper.
1) a workshop on collaborative revenue capture for exiled media. Taking one of the most challenging sectors of the media market, we will look at what collaborative approaches could be deployed to help exiled media. With the backdrop of distorted markets, day to day operational challenges, cash-strapped media and various political and language barriers this is possibly one of the hardest sectors in which to propose a collaborative approach. However early studies suggest ad networks to be working. Could more moves be added to generate revenues across the media, rather than individually?
2) a collaborative revenue installation. We are hoping to bring news from multiple media organisations into a physical installation, with which users and consumers can interact. We will test revenue capture around the artefact in a media carnival style to see how rendering news content from a pool of providers impacts on production and consumption.
3) a report and case study analysis. As an emerging trend, it is imperative that a more concrete assessment of collaborative revenue capture be undertaken. It is hoped that in supporting the gray literature around this field we can expose and articulate what collaborative revenue capture is, and could be.
Collaborative revenue capture is evidence of an emerging business model for media. The term is proposed to capture moves by stakeholders to pool their media content in some way in order to generate revenues. It could be that they become something bigger - and more valuable - than they would be individually, in order to achieve enough market share, power, eyeballs (whatever that may be) to be viable.
I'm currently mulling over a few more emerging models which could be classed as collaborative revenue capture:
Entrepreneurial journalism is a disruptive force as well as a response to disruption and requires new skills, says Prof Jane Singer.
Professor Jane Singer currently from City University talked about unpicking the definition and skill set of entrepreneurial journalism at Uclan's research symposium. EJ is poorly defined.
She describes the entrepreneurial journalist as pitchman, woman, fundraiser, campaigner business brain and lots more things.
'It is about developing creating and sustaining economically viable ontent ideas. Luring and keeping audiences and managing shifts in practice and perception.'
To sum up, there are some interesting categorisations propsed between traditional and 'EJ':
Traditionally: aggregated, faceless no meaningful contact - relationships is the job of marketing and circulation staffs.
For advertisers: making money is the job of advertisers, advertising is not my job, autonomy norms pervent and forbid contact so that you are free from influence
Content rests on professionals skills norms and resources, focus on editorial content value, central civi role perception, competition is knowable and finite
Traditional activity is reporting, writing editintg response to social media
Someone else's problem to pay my wage
Entrepreneurial journalism:, clear and precise understanding of audiences, personal contacts, attention and responses, niche audiences, must be actively courted, audience are often active.
Here there is an overlap between advertisers (there is an overlap between advertisers and audiences. advertisers must be courted and nurtured, privacy concerns emerge related to audience information, personal financial stake, need to recoup costs, yet autonomy norms haven't gone away.
Institutional resource advantages disappear (expectation you will be spoken to ina certain way/clout saying you are from the Sky news etc), demand for skills may not be high, niche audiences seek customisation and connections, differentiation from current offerings have options, competition is unknoable and ever expanding.
Business skills and new collaborations and partnerships become more vital. costs for news creation, what else costs money, massive instability, bottom line coming in and not understanding revenue streams etc
Revenue money is now chief concern, what people willing to pay for, a single revenue stream is seldom enough, everyone is chasing the same few sources
EJ is itself disruptive as well as being a response to disruption
Who am I now in this envinronment?
What do I do?
Which relationships must I nurture?
What defines success and survival?
Exploring this territory will be especially interested in the franchise model being developed by Townfizz under the TSB hyperlocal technology demonstrators.
How can they become a sustainable innovator? Watch out for Prof Singer response: AEJMC conference in Montreal coming soon for more.
Whether it is through incubation units around mainstream media, media innovation labs or studios, or complex capital developments such as The Landing, media innovation ecosystems are developing rapidly.
I was invited to present the Media Innovation Studio at web2day - Nantes digital startup festival - as part of discussions around such innovation ecosystems. Nantes, to the east of Paris, is putting itself firmly on the map when it comes to digital and creative industries and the festival brought at least 1,500 entrepreneurs together.
The studio is an interesting case. We started out a year and a half ago as four or so academics who felt that the higher education/research scene was changing - and needed to change. So we launched the Media Innovation Studio at Uclan wanting to see how far we could develop projects and a reseach portfolio that was less about 'just' journal articles and more about communities, open collaboration and partnerships.
I guess the question of ecosystem is what are you producing with whom.
Sometimes it's only when you actually pause to think about what has been achieved that your realise how far we've come in such a short space of time. In a few months time the team will have probably doubled, and we will have two exciting TSB technology demonstrator programmes as partners, we'll be delivering on our crowdsourced civic drone centre after the Aerosee project and helping Wan-ifra to develop Media Innovation Hub as well as working through partnerships for Interactive Newsprint.
It was great to share a stage with Sciencescom as they embark on their new Media Campus, and wonderful to be helping on that. It's also great to work with The Landing on all their great incubation projects too.
The playback is under media ecosystems innovation
I am delighted to have been involved in preparing for the first UK Media Lab Session at the Media Innovation Studio.
All the information for people attending is summarised here - or at least this is where you will find us over the the weekend
Follow #mlspreston for updates and live interactions
The running order looks a bit like this
FRIDAY MAY 16
6pm Registration, Drinks and welcome
6.15pm Welcome Paul Egglestone and Clare Cook & health & safety.
6.30pm Opening Keynote Daniel Bentley, and other 'what is media innovation'
6.45pm How it works, key information media lab session, resources experiences from the past. Remerge session capturing ideas at launch - what is media innovation and open source innovation
7.30pm Brainstorming ideas to prototype
8.30/9pm Pizza in the studio
10pm Teams. Fab lab introductions.
SATURDAY MAY 17
9-10am Breakfast in the studio
10.00am Build begins!
11.00am – 12:00am Expert corner masterclass sessions in breakout rooms
UX, business model, audience and technical & data experts will be roaming between the teams providing assistance and support.
12.30am Business model, revenue streams and audience empathy session
1:30pm Lunch in the studio
After lunch we’ll leave you alone for the afternoon to get on with building and researching!
6.00pm Standup development review to mentor panel
We’ll go round the teams and get a quick 30 second overview of your progress/issues
7pm Remerge reminder - progress reports
8:00 pm restaurant
SUNDAY MAY 18
9-10am Breakfast in the studio.
9.30- 10.00am “How to Pitch” session
UX, audience and technical & data experts will be roaming between the teams providing assistance and support.
2pm build continues
5pm Prototype deadline!
All teams should have submitted their presentation/demo to the jury.
5-6pm Participants pitch to dragons
6-7pm Remerge debrief session, social network analysis, open source media innovation process
7pm Winners announced
7pm + Drinks and networking, goodbye
Two panels at #ijf14 discussed the business model of journalism. Yes, it's disrupted. But where should the focus be if solutions and evolutions are to emerge?
Brands are getting into storytelling. Pepsi etc are taking advertisers and becoming publishers - and that is time customers would have spent with traditional news - very compelling. Time is a non renewable resource that I cant get back. Brands are becoming storytellers, telling stories but not news. Competing for people's time with brands is a new threat, says @raju #ijf14 talks about the danger of losing the audience to brands and mentions example of Richard Baumgartner+ #Redbull #fortheAustrians
Equally people databases are moving into content distrbution, such as LinkedIn. They already have a database of people. Is this reverse publication 2.0 (first concept was from online to print and now it is from digital to alternative networks of content/people)?
The media business is actually a very structured and old fashioned business with very little change for so long. and now it has been completely disrupted.
there is s a lot of entrepreneurialism and different models over time people began to specialise until no one person can help you stratification of news long reads and serious project syndicate
Is it correct to view success just by metrics - yes or no, and if not what should be used to measure value?
Any metric used on its own would be wrong. People now follow the page view to the exclusion of other things. Social shares an article have is the new norm. Google analytics or chartbeat count them differently which is difficult. hopefully people will stop seeing page views as the only metric and see it as one of many.
Liquid newsroom: advertisers want page impressions it is the only measure that counts for them
When we have an internal view on things we need more. we experimented. we find out more about the demographic and that is when we realised we needed to focus on the quality - to find content that goes viral some how and work out what makes them sticky to a brand.
The person who needs to sell and buy advertising but then there is also the journalist
Page views count because they are the only currency we have at the moment
Toni: We are not talking about metrics we are talking about currency. We attach subjective meanings to things. this is how we chose to assign value. page views as currency they are the devil and they should be killed. We need to stop treading readers like rats in boxes - people’s attention and time needs to be quantified. the more of your time whether that is in a single visit or across a month. time is the only unit of currency that is finite. we have more scarcity we have potential to correlate value. any design decision has to be beautiful experience. attention and time.
Muckrack - can you work out who is reading your stuff. impact? illuminate readers. who is reading - politicians/academics - not just how many? not just number
Relevancy is the most important metric. yes i can monetise it cos over time relationship gives more insights, motives, interests, you can advertise better, and have established a trust status.
Our job is to communicate so we should know about it if a story is being lost we need to know about it and fix it. combinatorial metrics - you have to win at both to do well. concurrency: number of drives a lot of people to the page and keep them there. not just how many people i can get there but how long i can keep you there. think about contently and upworthy also doing this: attentive metric - you are doing something to suggest that you have a pulse. 95% of the time they have done it within five seconds. if we have heard from you its active. attention and total engage time gives very clear idea of something that is truly engaging.
Relevance and impact:
We are going to sell you impressions and premium impression so you bring quality back into the mix. brutality hard process ad dollars and quality - the better we will all be
social requires so much more nuance
Panel participants included:
George Brock head of j school city university
Om Milak founer gigaom
Raju Narisetti senior vice pres news corp
Felix Salmon Reuters
Stefan Conrath, liquid newsroom
Andrea Nussi director
Toni Hale ceo Chartbeat
The VP for Kindle Content talks journalism and publishing with @pandemia at #ijf14
What is your opinion on what is happening with the digital opportunities for journalism?
The change to digital is likely the biggest change we will see in our industry. People get afraid. Pricing gets talked about a lot and we built a system where $10 for a piece of content seemed reasonable when compared to songs for 90 cents or journalism thats free. We are still very early in that change but I think business models are far more in the control of individual journalists.
There is nothing that is going on in the ebook business in Italy, France etc that looks different from what we have seen in the US.
The future for digital content and journalists?
Kindle Singles is a brand that we use to describe a certain type of content and it might only have a meaning for a few years. The tag line is: compelling ideas expressed at their natural length. It is an important trend now to realise books can be less or more than the publisher needed them to be. Digital allows us to get rid of the requirement of length and speed that have limited us so much now. Costacordia - a Guardian journalist wrote a Single and it was 20 or 30 pages that are in depth enough. Write them today on things that are relevant.
Making a screen that looks like paper and connecting readers that didn't need a data package were the two most important things we did.
The whole point with an ebook is that you get lost the way sometimes I confess I cant do on my tablet and I can’t do on my phone.
There are many many new editions of Kindle e reading devices and make them even better than they are with an opportunity to sell them for a long time to come.
Goodreads - why did you buy it?
It helps people decide what to read next. Books take 20 or 30 hours to read so if you can help people make a decision even ten % better then it’s a great thing.
Mobipocket - bought in 2005
We created the commercial ebook business that exists today. Interoperability and the type of format are often confused. We want your books to be wherever you are.
Does my library follow you -that is the most important thing. The book business is actually very different business: children, business, education and the level of digital adoption is very hard. Books being bought online has overtaken offline.
The future of the book store?
The change to digital is a very big change to the business and creates understandable fear. In a digital world what should a book store experience be like. We are already in the process making a store cool. Waterstones on a partnership on how to make the in-store experience relevant whether that is merchandising, or events, or what they would like. Matchbook - if you buy print you get a discount on ebook and that makes sense to a lot of people intuitively.
Readers and authors are both our customers. What can we do for authors so they will choose us. The intellectual property is something the industry will have to work more on for the future. For so long it was about scarcity - high hurdles were getting people to put it on the shelf etc - but all that has now been inverted as there are so many choices for authors.
De Correspondent raised thousands in days. The International Journalism Festival itself raised enough to help keep it afloat this year. Indeed crowdfunding was essential to help people understand how much the festival was needed: crowd loving rather than crowd funding. Impressive stuff. But can it be used for more general projects and be viable for other publishing? Is it best for specialist reports? Is crowd funding bottom up or top down? Can it represent a new democratic social contract between money being spent and public will? Is it a mantra of fairer and democratic way of demonstrating what a community wants?
The panel at #ijf14 tried to decide.
Garrett Goodman, Worldcrunch
Salvo Mizzi founding of the Working Capital ventures, expertise dealing with accelerators and innovation startups. Cloudio
Ernst Jan Pfauth De Correspondent
Chiara Spinelli crowd funding consultant
Rob Wijnberg, editor in chief at De Correspondent
Salvo Mizzi : Crowdfunding is just the tip of the iceberg - it is a new form of social contract or agreement. I believe that crowd funding is the first expression of a clear disruptive opportunity when it comes to value and money. It hides a lack of intermediation under the banner of electronic fundraising. It is not the solution to the traditional business model of journalism it is an expression of a deep movement including bit coin in the puzzle and we should elaborate on this. Crowd funding is a new form of social contract as reduction of public funds the authorities will have to have open and transparent position on projects to agree with citizens of promoting social contracts. We will not be able to have waste and crowd funding is a clear way of saying and reporting on what we are going to do with money. A mantra of fairer and democratic way of demonstrating what a community wants. (Italian legislation introduced this last year, for once faster than the US - we were timely in something we did and start up visas are part of the law in Italy).
Is it a bottom up or a top down process? it is a marketing tool because you can see the responsiveness of a topic to a public that are following you but it is not only this, along with bit coins and peer exchange it is an important lever, from a financial standpoint there is room for action. We do not know where it will take us. We are right at the beginning of a new historical era.
Garrett Goodman : Worldcrunch is a startup for world news, digital only. Partners with other newspapers and translates them into English. Editors were thinking of solutions - not just covering problems but finding innovative solutions to have an impact. We could not figure out a business model until the other partner thought about Kickstarter and crowd funding. We turned to it for a specific initiative Worldcrunch Impact - I am not sure it can sustain an entire operation it is better for clear operations and build momentum around them. Its a one hit at the moment, rather than something on a subscription unless you are working towards a recurring donation it is better for a single initiative.
The money was for three dossiers so it had a specific scope - use our structure of partnerships - to find innovative solutions to those problems. We felt not everything that was innovative was happening in the west. Education, smart cities were two of them in Worldcrunch Impact. $15,000 was the goal - 111% - 173 backers $96 per backer. There is a paywall on Worldcrunch.com (freemium) $84 for a year subscription. It is interesting to understand the dynamic there. People can give more when it goes beyond - difference between letting people pay and making people pay. people can get behind an idea and buying into that and associating themselves with a community - free flowing ideas across cultures and sharing innovative solutions was really what made World Crunch a product rather than ‘you will receive X’. one of the hardest points is if you are successful you have to deliver! so we had a redesign in the works which was partly funded by our subscribers and we realised we really wanted to show these people incredible - a brand new version of the user experience so we fast tracked the whole redesign for the backers - we felt an obligation to deliver and give them something great.
We started off with a low reward, a mention on social media, a top reward of 1,000 dollars was to be a guest editor and you can help shape this month’s coverage and four people pledged this. They were an effort to give people a sense of ownership in the project. The early birds were a special thank you and stamped notebooks. There was an element of our campaign was to partner with other newspapers in other countries so they promoted it to their readers. They translated and gathered international momentum with these partners. Using crowd funding allows you to generate an idea and see if there is an appetite before even building a product - so freedom to experiment which is something they need right now.
Rob Wijnberg, editor in chief at De Correspondent. We had both worked at a newspaper, the NYTimes of Holland. We wanted to do something new but we didn't want to do advertising because you turn your readers into a target group. So we wanted to get 15000 people to donate 60 dollars or more - so we wrote the manifesto. That was to redefine news and redefine journalism in the digital age was performed. The new definition was to say the news is not that great a product - it promises to tell you what is happening in the world but in fact it shows you the exceptions of what is happening. so we set out to offer a better picture of how the world is happening and this is what we define as news. new insights into how the world operates. the biggest mistake most journalistic crowd funding projects make is all about what to give the journalists so we want to save our jobs or save our newspaper or continue doing where there is no funding for it.
What you have to do is tell them what you are going to give the audience, what you are offering to the audience. no advertisers is all we really promised, within 8 days 15000 donated and one month we had 19000 donated, some of them gave more average 60 euros per funder. the hard part was four months to build yet we had to keep funders happy. To construct the whole project - two years was preparation time and thinking. from the moment we decided to crowd fund, 2 months to build the platform ourselves, we wanted to show people the environment we wanted to show: April crowd funded ended and the site launched in September.
We wanted % of readers we had rather than just how close to the financial target - it was a big difference (they used their own bespoke crowd funding site for this) . it is about selling an idea rather than the features of a product. The features were irrelevant what people signed up for was the why. What makes people leave newspapers is they have no clear idea of why they are in journalism, why am i giving you information - that is the most important question you can ask.
Make sure your rewards are a good fit with what you are doing (signings, book launches) not free t-shirts. We launched our campaign on a talk show with our two most famous journalists so a million viewers etc and a huge early surge insane number of comments from Twitter and Facebook. Using social media was the perfect place to talk and collected all the criticism and turned them into questions and in depth. That helped to capture the mood and respond. Email was also really important so you can create a group. We used that throughout the early period to update them on the process - it was the lifeline with our members. 12,000 joined after we launched so we had 32,000 members - but we need 4,000 to continue to subscribe to keep going… You cant crowd fund over and over: hopefully we will be here next year as a successful business model.
How to find money for investigative journalism is a complex issue
David Kaplan exec director GIJN Global investigative journalism network This is a great tools for connecting with the network around the world - other journalists, data, fixers and a range of guides. Info on grants and fellowships: specialist reporting, documentary, photography, fellowships.
Also the international journalist network: ijnet Funding investigations
Where to raise funds
2 Commercial media as a freelance
3 Nonprofit media (propublica national geographic npr guardian trust etc - dozens have ) people get a huge dedication in tax if they give to non profit so there is a motivation there for public interest/ a public tax break) - should be something we take up on European level. Universities are doing their own publications and investigations.
4 There is a lot of cross over with global witness or green peace etc so the line with NGO are blurred
5 grant making groups: Fund for investigative journalism. The pascal foundation. The scoop. Tanzania media fund.
6 international aid donations they understand media development is right mix for democracy.
7 international media development such as open society
Wilfried Ruetten director European journalism centre Raise money from public services like eu (complicated interference ) and gates foundation (hands off approach) Journalismgrant.org Innovations and development issues reg HIV, water sanitations more about topical rounds eg medical or housing etc. not just traditional storytelling: use data or innovative storytelling. Media outlet has to be in one of nine countries (us,uk, those that spend the most on development aid) The centre has also published the social media verification handbook.
Margo Summit journalismfund.eu pushing data and investigative journalism (also dataharvest.eu) Farmsubsidy.org a resource to find out where the money goes from in agriculture in Europe 'You can't change what you don't know': this is what they focus on. This would be an ideal place for international journalism students to find reporting projects, cross borders. Example stories: the migrants files ( precisely assessing no people who died as a result of migration policies) Pulp fiction: tomatoe purée story