Dennis Haarsager's rolling environmental scan for electronic media. "Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us." --Jerry Garcia "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." --Bob Seger
Jeff Jarvis has some interesting thoughts on the notion that radio should be more local, even "hyperlocal." It came out of his participation in an NPR+bloggers meeting the week before this one, links from which I've been collecting under a Jarvis title, National Public Whatsis ... . However, I'm several days late in adding it there, so am also posting it here because it deserves to be noticed. Jarvis writes:
... I’d start and the end and say that a local radio station must stop
thinking of itself as radio. It has the power to develop local
communities of news, information, and interest. It can use its
promotional power to drive people there. It could, for example, get
people in a market to record every damned school board and town council
meeting and put them online, served by the station. It could create the
meeting place where people share news and information, competing with
or even in cooperation with local papers. It could be a home for talk
about local issues and news. ¶ So what is the on-air content? It’s not hyperlocal. But it could be
a meta version of that: talk about the issues that cut across the
region with reporting from the best of the local communities. It could
feature the best citizen critics giving you reviews of local arts and
entertainment. I don’t come up with much here. So I’d say that the
station has a limited time frame in which to use its promotional power. ...
Sure, XM ... and Sirius ... would wring out plenty of cost savings as one company. But the two
have yet to earn a penny of profit. Their combined losses for 2006 are
expected to hit $1.7 billion. And competition is everywhere. Car
salesmen are pushing new iPod jacks. More than 57 million Americans now
listen to some form of Web radio each week, says radio-audience tracker
Bridge Ratings, compared with 14 million subscribers for XM and Sirius
combined. Broadcasters are beginning to offer high definition, or HD,
radio. While consumers need to buy a special receiver to get HD, which
squeezes more programming into the same frequency, the service is free. ¶ Meanwhile, 240 million folks listen to regular radio at least once a
week. And who knows what's around the corner? Maybe a form of WiMAX
will be capable of streaming Web radio to a speeding car. ...
Link: BusinessWeek. Maybe a form of WiMAX? Not maybe -- it's here.
Also see Olga Kharif's Satellite Static: The XM-Sirius Merger. Link: BusinessWeek. --Dennis
In a new must-carry proposal from Federal Communications Commission chairman
Kevin Martin, cable operators would be forced to carry the programming of
certain “eligible entities” that had leased excess spectrum from local
digital-TV stations, FCC and industry officials confirmed last week. ¶ “The chairman wants to do all that he can to facilitate entry by small
business and other eligible entities in an already-crowded field of
broadcasting,” an FCC official said last Tuesday, one week after Martin and his
aides began reaching out for support. ...
He's made the executive director of the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council happy. See Honig Cheers Martin for Bridging Multicast Must-Carry Divide. Link: Broadcasting & Cable. Also see FCC's Martin Floats Leased Multicast Must-Carry Proposal. Link: Broadcasting & Cable. Both articles by John Eggerton. --Dennis
US broadband growth, though slower than that in some other countries, is expected to hit a significant milestone at some point in 2007. Consultancy Parks Associates has just released its annual report on US broadband, and it concludes that more than 50 percent of US households will have a high-speed connection by the end of the year. ...
Andrew Grossman makes the case that the extraordinary video bandwidth requirements of Joost will put unrealistic burdens on ISPs, especially if net neutrality was enacted. Link: Technology Liberation Front.
Joost Viacom warning: expensive bandwidth means IPTV not free, Alex Zaharov-Reutt attempts to quantify:
... Joost promises to download around 330Mb per hour for a high quality, TV
equivalent experience at high resolution. Joost say that if a lot of
people in a particular country or in the world are watching the same
program, the data can be spread more widely and can drop the per hour
download requirements in the current best case scenario to 220Mb – but
in the initial stages 330Mb is obiviously more likely. ¶ On the upload side of things, Joost will upload around 150Mb of data for every hour of TV you watch. ¶ If you watch 10 one hour shows, that’s 3.3Gb you’ve just downloaded,
and 1.5Gb you’ve uploaded. Watch a single one hour show for 30 days,
and that’s 9.9Gb. If you’re stuck on a 10Gb download limit, you’ve just
used it all up watching a Joost TV show every day. Where does that
leave the rest of your Internet experience, sending and receiving
emails, downloading other programs or new music, watching Youtube or
anything else that requires bandwidth? ...
... The (New York-based) North County Gazettereports that the mummified body of a man was discovered in his Hampton Bays home this week. He had been dead for a year, but his television was still running and showing programming! ...
... traditional media players eventually will find a way to retain the more
than $60 billion advertisers spend annually on television by leveraging
their branded networks not only across many new interactive media
platforms but through a new interactive television-connected media hub
that Apple, Microsoft and others plan to carve out of the average
American living room beginning this year. ¶ While the continuation of the upfront ritual is
assured until there is a well-constructed business model to replace it
-- which most likely will take years -- the logic behind the value
proposition, metric and create bets on which it is based have never
appeared more suspect given the kinds of innovative and constructive
advertising and consumer measurement practices emerging on the Internet
and various interactive media platforms. ...
Rob Paterson is writing about this week's sessions at the Public Media Conference 2007. This compelling insight is from a post about a two-day pre-conference meeting for public broadcasting CEOs:
... For me, motive and hope is the key to change. As Alan Deutschman shows us in Change or Die,
being told you are going to die - the substance of much of what we
heard in the last 2 days - is not the great activator for change that
we think it may be. 90% of seriously at risk patients do not act on
their doctor's advice. ¶ So why don't we change, even if we know that if we don't we will
die? To make a big change - to think web versus terrestrial, to think
collaboration versus me alone - often means to change our identity. If
our identity and our personal story is attached to these things, then
in 90% of the time we would rather die than change the identity that we
had come to rely on. We martyr ourselves for this identity. This is
what is the real barrier. ...
... Ideas do not change us. Only experience changes us. Changing experience
has to be deep and repetitive to change the habits of a career. ...
In a later post, Hyperlocal - Saving the World, Rob addresses mission directly:
One of the powerful trends that I am witnessing is the growing
recognition in Public radio and TV that There is a huge opportunity for
public media to secure a viable future by serving the hyper local
community. I will post more later about what I have seen and heard
about how this can be done for very little money. Please take it on
faith for now that the how is now known. ¶ The big idea is that in a hyper linked global world - the hyper
local becomes the most important place. If the 20th century was about
nationalism and the nation statee. The 21st will have to be about a
shift in power back to the small local community.
Link: Robert Paterson's Weblog. Bingo. While we're all scrambling to see how we can make money on the web, mostly by monetizing repurposed legacy programs in new ways (and there are ways to do that), the truth is that the real power of the web is to help us be more significant institutions in our community. It's way better than our time-limited hit-dependent broadcast delivery. For non-profits, it's about mission. Show me the money! the mission (and the money will take care of itself). --Dennis
Hearts of Space producer and web content pioneer Stephen Hill has posted a critique of the public radio Digital Distribution Consortium report. I just learned that the report had been posted from Stephen's piece, so I've had a chance only to peruse it quickly. I'll try to give it a closer read over the weekend and then decide then if I want to add to comments that I made earlier without benefit of the document. Here's a quote from Stephen to get you started:
This week the Digital Distribution Consortium
(DDC) decloaked after six months silence and released a carefully
written proposal, not only for a new distribution system for digital
public media, but for a new business model for the public media network
of the future. The full proposal is available as a .pdf file at the DDC
Wiki here or the IMA site here and is worth reading carefully if you want to understand the full scope of these ideas. ¶ It's a serious piece of work by well-intentioned professionals with
some of the best new media experience in the system, so I'm unhappy to
report that it is deeply prejudiced in several of its core assumptions. ...