If someone says “AI” again, I’ll freak out. There is currently no panel or talk that does not somehow refer to artificial intelligence. That’s right on the one hand, it’s also a big change. On the other hand, just not everything is AI, which is currently being sold as AI.
Let’s talk business. “Revenue Roulette” was the name of a surprisingly interesting session yesterday. Less because of the specific content than because of the overall feeling that the panel had in it. It was quite agreed that media companies …
… must rely on multiple revenue streams
Because, suprise, there is no such thing as a holy grail. It’s not just subscription or advertising. It is a wealth of ways. For example, in Cleveland, a radio station monetized its (very large) building, allowing communities to use it for meetups.
Oh well. I’ve known that for years from the startup scene. Even the Rocket Beans have funded their 24/7 Twitch channel via at least seven different channels, from subscriptions to advertising and merchandise. Our (content) startups are always on at least two to three legs.
Platforms are a great help in reaching users
At least if they help to sell subscriptions. It was above all Apple News to the language with the note: Even if it does not make the big money, are also a few hundred subscribers more than none. Is that the grip on the straw? Or the new humility?
Three more interesting observations to think about:
“Media nowadays treats every piece of content like a product”
And with a corresponding multichannel marketing strategy. Journalists are still refusing, but how about we actually look at that? Each article as a separate product? That needs to be marketed? With a process streamlining this for every article out there and getting a mini sales and marketing team?
“Nothing is ever dead in digital”
First podcasts, then newsletters, maybe digital media products are also just like dress patterns. Eventually everything will come back. What are the raver pants of the digital media?
“Maybe you do not need a newsroom this big”
What goes through all the analysis at the Washington Post: The most comes in the content that is either intriguing or critical. And of very high quality. Then why are we still wasting so much resources on producing “Meh” content, asks Emilio Garcia-Ruiz of the Washington Post.
I’ve been saying for a long time that we could solve all the information overflow by producing less and better content. How I would like to start the challenge, to find out how many texts, videos, audio pieces a newsroom can really produce less before the user notices it. I throw in the room: 50 percent. At least.
Achso, and: “In 60 months from now, local television will be dead.” I’ll leave it that way.
Today’s data and voice. Shortly two interesting thoughts from the (otherwise unfortunately very basic “data are important we should use them now”) Data Session: Algorithms can also help a lot in the production of film and video. Take the interactive “Bandersnatch” episode of Black Mirror, for example. Developing such storytrees is extremely time-consuming, and computers can quickly add one and one together. In addition, there are especially in the game area characters whose actions are already supported by neural networks. This allows more dynamic stories to be developed.
And again I wonder why the inspiration of games is still such a niche existence in journalism. In order for that to change, I think it’s imperative that we cut production costs for new (multimedia) content. In contrast to VR, games, film and music, journalism is based on actuality and evolving stories. This is currently still too expensive. Or we can find ways to keep content relatively unchanged over a longer period of time.
Maybe this is a good topic for a tech challenge, which is a current idea in Media Lab Bavaria. We would like to write out two-month (or so) research scholarships, during which you can easily deal with such a topic conceptually. If you find that exciting: Let’s talk!
And now on the subject of voice interfaces: a lot of research is currently working on use cases for people with disabilities. If you’re in a wheelchair and you can not use your hands, you can use Google Home to adjust your bed, switch on the TV, make calls.
That sounds obvious now – but it works the other way round too. Exciting, I found the case with Alzheimer’s patients. You can ask her Smartspeaker 30 times a day, what’s her husband’s name again – without Alexa ever being annoyed. Removing such emotionally burdensome work from the caretakers creates space for things that are actually needed for them: loving care.
For me, that was another example of how much good technology can do – and what a fantastic time we are in, that we can invent it all.
Applied to journalism and media: Voice is an incredibly inclusive medium that every toddler can use as soon as they speak. However, the best products are created especially the more specific it is to the needs of a specific target group. This will be a whole new challenge in terms of product development (and maybe an exciting tech challenge?).
Next Level Diversity
Spottet first by Jim from the media network Bavaria and then tried by Mustafa of core idea: the artificial breast for men. With that, fathers can now breast feed their babies.
At the SXSW, Bernhard and Julia from Kontextlab have been working on how to communicate knowledge comprehensibly. In particular, the context of information units is crucial – otherwise you end up with the “The Blind Men and the Elephant” parable. The project “Migration Trails” shows information on digital maps and says: Readers value the interactive approach, feel emotionally connected, give feedback and spend more than average time on the maps. This is an exciting confirmation, as Contextlab has already discovered quite similarly with their own product.