On June 26th, at Rai premises in Torino, the Open Innovation Day was carried out for the second time. The workshop was specially targeted to startups and small enterprises offering innovative solutions to technical and editorial problems in the area of media. Its goal was to improve mutual knowledge in areas of interest, creating a network of stakeholders aimed at collaborating, and contributing to innovation in the media industry. The event was organised in collaboration with ItaliaStartup, the not-for-profit association of Italian Startups, and I3P, the innovation accelerator of the Polytechnic of Turin, in synergy with the Italian Tech Week, a whole week of conferences and workshop focusing on innovation and technology in Torino.
Radio Hack Europe 2019 was a 48-hour hackathon around the theme “Radio and media of tomorrow”, which took place on 29-31 March on the EPFL campus, with the support of MediaRoad and the Initiative for Media Innovation.
This spin-off event from Radiodays Europe, which occurred the weekend before the conference, was intended for anyone interested in shaping the future of radio in Europe, and brought together media professionals, entrepreneurs, researchers and students, as well as people who had an interest or curiosity in media and innovation. In this respect, hackathons are an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to work together in an open and collaborative manner, over a short period of time
On December 4 2018, in London, egta, the Brussels-based association of television and radio sales houses organised, in the framework and with the support of MediaRoad an event titled Bridges in Audience Measurement. This forward-looking conference brought together close to 120 representatives of leading advertising companies, TV broadcasters, sales houses, media agencies, research companies and ad tech providers. The main aim of the conference was to discuss the necessary evolution of TV audience measurement, challenges as well as possible solutions.
As an organisation which represents a very wide network of TV and radio sales houses: large and small, in all kinds of markets, in Europe and beyond, egta is ideally positioned to represent the TV ad sales industry at large in the context of this specific “bridging” experience.
In her welcome notes, Katty Roberfroid, egta’s Director General, stressed the importance of cooperation between all stakeholders:
When it comes to measurement, egta – its members and Board of Directors – is convinced that building bridges is what our industry needs most: between industry partners, between continents, between media, devices and platforms, between content and advertising, between various fields of expertise, between individual initiatives, methodologies – older and widely accepted ones as well as newer and equally valuable ones.
On 22 November 2018 around 60 innovation-enthusiasts from broadcasters and media companies were presented a showcase from the European Sandboxes and startups / intrapreneurs that collaborate in MediaRoad’s Sandbox Hub. In an interactive presentation, Peter De Paepe (Head of Startup collaborations and Intrapreneurship at VRT Sandbox) gave an overview of the Sandbox concept. To make things more tangible, he presented practical insights and learnings from the Sandbox activities so far, specifically the DO’s and DON’Ts to successfully kick-off such innovation accelerators. In this session, the experience from +/- 100 cases done by VRT Sandbox in 4 years’ time were shared with the audience.
Peter explained, that depending on the focus, innovation projects from the Sandbox can help to boost the broadcaster’s brand or to improve internal processes and workflows potentially at lower costs. The Sandbox concept can lower the threshold to actually embrace innovations and works with a “closed wallet” principle. Participating startups / intrapreneurs are provided a safe environment to test and develop their product and receive broadcaster’s expertise and coaching, as well as access to internal and external networks (leading to an increased visibility of the product / development).
Towards a more flexible and complete media accountability toolbox
Words by Katty Roberfroid-Close
The difficulty of measuring audiences across screens and platforms is nothing new. The media industry, although aware of the constant improvement brought to the existing measurement and trading currencies, do actively or passively struggle with some of its shortcomings. There is an unprecedented sense of urgency and growing momentum to boost innovation in the sector and solve the issues impacting the reliability of digital media and bring the greater clarity that will allow marketers to better evaluate the relative effectiveness of the options at their disposal thanks to metrics such as viewability, attribution, engagement, sales uplift, etc. In other words, the industry needs to move from a media-centric towards an advertiser-centric model, while keeping comparable and global KPIs for trading and validation.
MediaRoad session: how do we enhance European media innovation
16 September 2018, 14h00 – 15h00
IBC, EBU Stand 10.F20. – RAI Amsterdam
Currently, the European media sector finds itself in a convergent, multiplatform and globalized landscape offering a set of opportunities and challenges for media players to innovate from creative content production to technological innovation and R&D, and across the value chain.
The MediaRoad project aspires to reawaken a ‘start-up mentality’ in the media sector, reshaping the way organizations collaborate and deploy new ideas in the market. The European Broadcasting Union is leading a consortium in which some of Europe’s most prominent broadcasters (BBC, RAI, VRT, Association of European Radios) work alongside leading media research institutes (IRT, EPFL, IMEC) and independent producers (CEPI TV). Project partners work within three project Hubs and support the transformation of the European media sector by building an ecosystem for innovation.
Partners synergy in Mediaroad: CEPI and EBU’s way forward
|Jerome Dechesne, CEPI President, underlined the crucial role that the creative industries sector will increasingly play, and the key importance of each stakeholder along the audiovisual value chain. Research and innovation can multiply the potential of the industry: firstly, by powering content production and distribution and adapting the traditional means to the technological era; secondly, by investing on skills and digital literacy for the whole sector and for audiovisual workers to remain competitive. Dechesne suggested the establishment of a dedicated European media innovation scheme within Horizon Europe to amplify the innovation potential of the media sector.||Nicola Frank, Head of European Affairs at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), highlighted the current evolution of traditional broadcasters into more flexible public service media organisations. The growing complexity of the sector would be reflected by the creation of a European Media Ecosystem, which MediaRoad could serve as blueprint for. The structure could revolve around three main hubs: the SandBox Hub, dedicated to innovation; the Policy Hub, to develop a common policy vision; and the Network Hub, for coordination on policy action between stakeholders.|
On Thursday, June 7th, 2018, the Association of European Radios – AER, organised a conference at the European Parliament stressing the important role played by radio in fighting against disinformation.
John Purcell (IBI President), moderator for the conference, welcomed the guests to the 2018 AER Conference. Mr Purcell stressed the difficulties faced by radio to guarantee its future in today’s world as technology is rapidly changing.
Marlene Mizzi MEP (Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament – S&D, Malta) outlined the work her team and her performed on the European Electronic Communications Code. She stressed that the legislators have managed to reach what seems to be an acceptable compromise for radios, pushing digital broadcasting in cars, whilst recognising that online is important and that FM is still the main door to access radio. In that sense, radio is essential for citizens as it enables them to reach a free and accessible medium, helpful in cases of disaster or to tackle fake news. This is why radio should maintain a good shape, through FM as it is currently the case.
Robot journalism or automation is becoming an important part of news production. It speeds up news production and generates a vast amount of content in a matter of sector to be distributed and consumed in print and online. However, we know little about how news automation work and its implication on ethics and quality of journalism, as well as the impact on human journalists.
These questions were explored in a workshop organized by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) within the framework of the Media Road project on 5 June in Lisbon, Portugal. The workshop was attended by around 40 participants from across Europe, including journalists, academics, media and journalists’ representatives.
Experts on robot journalism, journalists, developers, media managers and academics participated in the three panels discussion focusing on: the production and application of robot journalism, the impact on the working conditions of journalists and the ethical issues surrounding robot journalism.
Animation is a dynamic sector which is flourishing and rapidly changing in terms of technology and audiences. It is a concrete example of collaboration, innovation and creativity. It is an industry which opens up great opportunities to the animators but at the same time financial limitations often lead to technological weaknesses and consequently, less competitiveness in the market. These aspects are presented below in an interview by our colleague from the European Coordination of Independent Producers (CEPI) with Philippe Alessandri; Philippe is Chairman of Animation Europe, the pan European Association which includes animation producer association within the EU, also active member in CEPI.
Liana Digka: How has digital innovation improved the quality of animated series and permitted to relocate production in Europe by increasing the productivity of the animation studios?
Philippe Alessandri: In the 90s, when I had my first contact with Animation, Asia was the place where the animation work was sub-contracted because of the low-cost services. The production was based on traditional means such as hand drawing and camera shooting. At that time, two French companies invented a digital system in order to produce animation electronically. It took 10 years for this technique to be completely accurate and to get enough well-trained artists to use it. With this technique the productivity increased and European production companies became more competitive vis-à-vis the Asian ones. This production optimisation combined with the tax incentives adopted by some European governments made it affordable to relocate production in Europe.