As the validity of the participative and time and schedule free model (Have it your Way!) as shown my My Space and YouTube becomes more clear, so has my thinking. My Space and YouTube are becoming vitally important amplifiers for traditional broadcast product.
What if there was a Public radio site connected to these "Worlds" that listed all the Public radio programs available? What if I as a listener could find for the first time a Global Directory of Programs and then listen when I wanted? Wasn't this a major learning from New Realities?
Would such a project be so big or so difficult? Looks like a perfect group project to me. But what about all our other priorities? This is the central priority - finding the optimal relationship with the listener in the new media world. The new relationship transcends the programming. 24 has not changed. What Murdoch is doing is changing the relationships with the viewer and with the Fox Stations.
He is doing what we feared in Eat my Lunch. He is taking the initiative in the key area - the customer and station relationship to content in an interactive and direct new media world.
So why are we not out there? I think that we are still stuck in our own fears.
Oh but then I would lose my local audience? Then Bypass would arrive.
Would you lose your local audience? I think that for now, most people will still wish to listen from air. So only the early adopters would move and not for all their listening. I doubt that fans of 24 will switch from their 42 inch plasma screen for all their viewing of Jack. BUT, it would be nice to catch up with episodes that you missed and such access will build new audiences. It would be nice to find one place where I could find out about all my favorite shows.
Will you lose your local audience? If all you do is act as a repeater for the programmers - yes over time you will and this is going to happen anyway. A direct. online, anytime habit will become the norm. You cannot stop this trend. It's like the automobile did away with the horse. It's coming and sooner than you fear.
Will you lose your local audience? Not I think if you become deeply valuable to them. By this I mean move away from a funding model based on scarcity - "If you don't contribute, you wont get Morning Edition." If you create an authentic attachment with your community based on truly serving them your local audience will grow.
Next week in Trusted Space Media I will be talking to Todd Mundt about what Iowa is doing in this regard.
Will you lose your local audience? Yes you will if you don't play here. If you don't try participative and time shifting and direct, you will know nothing when it moves from being important to vital - I think sometime in 2007/8.
Please try an expedition here - do something small and with some friends - try it and learn.
As Roosevelt said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.