Blogpost by Sarah Geeroms
France Télévisions was the first official partner to confirm its participation in our Sandbox Hub. By joining the MediaRoad project, it is clear that they’re committed to innovation.
As we will be working closely from 2018, I wonder how our French colleagues are approaching innovation today. So I travelled to Paris for a short two-day immersion at France TV where I meet Frédéric, my Sandbox Hub contact, at the station. After this nice reunion and with the necessary updates over lunch, we start our program in the offices of France TV. You can virtually visit the offices of France TV via this link: http://www.francetelevisions.fr/lab/projets/visite-virtuelle-francetelevisions
The accelerator, a first test
France TV has worked together with startups several times in the past, even though this was not done in a structured way until 2015. Since then, France Télévisions has tried various types of collaborations with start-ups and started in 2017 a first type of accelerator model. All those experiments in France Télévisions pursue the same goals : to adapt its platforms to new technologies and public expectations; to develop digital culture within the company, in
particular by drawing inspiration from start-ups and their methods; and to disseminate innovation everywhere in the company. Frédéric and I discuss the various differences in our models, as well as the learnings that accompany them. I try to challenge the current working method of France TV with startups by asking critical questions and notice that it also helps to look at our own Sandbox differently. At the end of February France TV’s accelerator model will have existed for one year and the first results will be analyzed. I’m already looking forward. When I meet Newsbridge, the first startup selected through France TV’s strong but fast accelerator model, I discuss with them how they found their intake at France TV. Newsbridge started at France TV at the end of October and is in the middle of its 4 months test period. Newsbridge helps you process your media to the right place in no time and this from any device, any format, anywhere. Concretely: Your team’s contributions are automatically sorted; you can cut, edit and publish from any file or stream and use their AI that helps you highlight content. All this lets you ingest, transcode and deliver in real time: https://www.newsbridge.io Because of their very strong presence on the work floor of France TV, they are able to get in touch with the France TV users much more easily and, as a result, tailor new features to their product. At this moment there’s already a real outcome in this collaboration with France TV and it looks strongly as if the technology will be implemented after the end period. It is clear that France TV’s model, whether or not fine-tuned after the evaluation in February, certainly works for them.
Medialab, a merge between information and innovation
I meet Barbara who tells me more about her role within Medialab. She is responsible for:
- The development and management of a chatbot with personalized push on msn for the France TV info channel.
- The organization of speed training around Twitter, data analysis, hack-a-tons, …
- The management and further development of méta-media. méta-media is:
- Blog: A collective blog for professionals who would like to be informed about media innovation. You can read more about the current and future media trends onhttps://www.meta-media.fr
- Trends: A half-yearly edition on a specific topic. Read their latest issue about GAFA here: https://www.meta-media.fr/files/2017/12/METAMEDIA-C14.pdf
- Social media: Inspiring through social media with content that is tailored to the target audience: https://www.instagram.com/meta_media/?hl=fr
- Testing: Testing interesting products / technologies and sharing the learnings with colleagues.
- Education: Triggering, challenging and updating internal colleagues via small tutorials For example: how to use video on snapchat, or initiatives on fact checking such as “Les gestes qui sauvent” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDhtXrHGU4A&list=PLa0HI1p49MdyDPrnZwz4M2oRFRsqBuRlz
Kati is responsible for France TV lab, a platform that bundles all innovation ideas and projects within France TV and is complementary to that of méta-media. This platform has only been online for a few weeks now, so the intention is to expand it further with user interaction and the focus on various topics. Definitely worth keeping an eye on:http://www.francetelevisions.fr/lab
Experience what you otherwise can’t see
Christophe points out the importance of using new technologies by focussing on specific information needs. He shows me some of Medialab’s very inspiring AR projects:
- Clip nouvelles images: AR technologies currently used in France TV’s linear TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXWhvFTqZjQ
- VR applications:
- Political information in VR: France TV made avatars for practically all politicians participating in the last election round. When clicking on the politician of your choice, you will see his/hers election campaign. This kind of human focussed AR experience attracts more young people, which is one of France TV’s spearheads. Check it out yourself at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfFHaBy61PM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmXAcyZx-DY
- Mix between gaming and journalism: Development of a new format of political information with the school of journalism ESJ of Lille and the school of Game Design: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLvd7V1L1Ic
- Hub France Info: The latest-generation Microsoft Surface Hub touchscreen has become a central tool and a striking journalistic piece of France Info TV. This creates a significant increase in the interactivity between the viewer and the content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5iwxdJqIBo&t=10s or more detailed: http://www.francetelevisions.fr/lab/power-bi-l-information-decryptee-sous-vos-yeux
A 360 immersion
Nathalie, on the other hand, is experimenting with 360 to see to what extent it can contribute to the information services. She also gives two-day internships to employees who want to deepen the topic and inspires these intern stakeholders through newsletters and posts. Nathalie tells me that for instant 360 she recommends to journalists the Samsung gear 2017 camera in combination with the Veer editor application. For larger productions such as Garde Républicaine 360 ( the Republican Guard during their rehearsal escort of the presidential car) she prefers Adobe premiere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LuLNCilqU8.
This motorcycle experience is shot with Insta360 Studio, a free 360 photo and video editor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv7BWvGMgeI&feature=youtu.be
Those who prefer to fly along with a helicopter flight, can do so via https://www.facebook.com/100014107542677/videos/301503646996551/?id=100014107542677&lst=658110167%3A100014107542677%3A1513844891
The implementation of tested startup technologies
Collaborations with startups have also been set-up in the area of 360 and VR. I learn more about Targo, a 360 ° news organization that is producing news reports exclusively in 360 and VR, immersing viewers in the story. France Télévisions worked with Targo to produce three 360 video contents during the last French Presidential campaign : one about a photographer following Marine Le Pen during her campaign, another about Emmanuel Macron in his headquarters and a last one about the communication strategy of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. They were published in the VR application dedicated to the election by France Télévisions and were made with the aim of helping the teams to learn more about making 360 videos.
Do you just study keywords and hashtags to get the latest content? Then you miss more than 70% of the visual social media posts, says Nunki. They enable the France TV to gather simultaneous content from various social media channels – 30 minutes faster than the average press and based on the geolocation-. Reporters are able to contact the piece owner directly and – if needed- ask for more content: http://nunki.co/ This can be combined with the Invid plug-in (to detect, authenticate and check the reliability and newsworthy video files and video content spread via social media) to create a more efficient and correct journalism. Medialab tested these technologies, approved them for internal use and ensured that the reporters received the necessary training to get the best out of the different features.
I end my two-day trip with a tour in the information department. I walk through the various studios of France 2 and France 3 and am amazed to see that the France Info TV studio is located on the work floor between and next to the various teams. It has its own charm and appears to work wonderfully. I enjoy the organized Christmas drink of the team and then – with a lot of learnings – say goodbye to France TV and the beautiful Paris. France TV is clearly more innovative than the perception that sometimes prevails in the outside world. One of their strengths is undoubtedly the strong team that I have met, knowing that almost all of them previously worked in the related internal services, which means that they can assess the needs of the internal services as the best and on the other hand provide them with a large internal network. After this interesting trip I am already looking forward to continuing this new collaboration in 2018.
See you soon, Paris!
Sarah Geeroms works as Project leader at VRT Sandbox International, and leads MediaRoad’s Sandbox Hub helping media organisations in Europe to establish innovation incubators and to connect with start-ups.