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Contribution to Society

The EBU develops a tool for assessing the contribuition of public service broadcasters to their respective audiences and societies. Together with the Hans Bredow Institute in Hamburg and a group of EBU members, indicators are identified and best practices collected. Ruurd is involved as consultant.

Generation What

Generation What is a transmedia format, aimed at the younger population. It has been succesfully introduced in France. France Television, Upian, Yammi2 and the EBU develop this currently into an international project. Ruurd is involved on behalf of the EBU as project manager.

VISION2020: The Road to Indispensible. Presentation at EBU General Assembly Meeting 2013

VISION2020: The Road to Indispensible. Ruurd held a presentation at the EBU General Assembly Meeting 2013. Download the presentation as PDF >

The Re-Invention of Public Broadcasting

‘De heruitvinding van de publieke omroep’ Article (in Dutch) in Magazine 609, No. 17, from the Dutch Cultural Media Fund, published October 2014. Together with Andra Leurdijk from FORALLMEDIA, Ruurd analyzes the public broadcasting system and talks about their research for the EBU.
Download the article as PDF (dutch) >

Vision 2020: An EBU Project

Public broadcasters in Europe will face huge changes in the next decade. In October 2012, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) launched Vision2020 to investigate how public service media (PSM) can adapt to these changes in a way that serves their audiences best.

After a year-long investigation that garnered the opinion of more than 150 Members and experts from the EBU community, the VISION2020 team presented its findings to the 2013 winter General Assembly.

VISION2020 inspires Members to play a vital role in European societies in 2020 and beyond. It offers recommendations to develop PSM to a higher level and transform broadcast organizations into ‘networked’ companies. It is a digital catalogue of ideas that Members can dip into according to need.

VISION2020 is anything but done. The project marked the start of a collaboration between the EBU and its Members that will carry on into the future. Its deeper value lies not only in its findings, but in the process itself: bringing Members together to establish a framework, support each other in strategy development, and create sustainable models for the years to come.

As a group, we possess a mountain of knowledge that we are only now beginning to exploit and share. Ours is a community deeply committed to a forward-looking public service.

Read more on the website: VISION 2020: An EBU project >

Polis Journalism Conference 2013: How to build trust in your journalism?

What can news media organisations do in the digital age to build the confidence and engagement of their audiences? Recorded on 5 April 2013 in the Wolfson Theatre, London School of Economics. Speakers: Ruurd Bierman, Cilla Benkö, Trushar Barot.

Eurovision General Assembly December 2012 – Ruurd Bierman’s address on Vision 2020

Vision2020: The E-report & App

How can European public service media react on the disruptive changes in the media environment? On questions like this the EBU and it’s more than 50 members engaged in an ambitious strategic exercise. The results have been published in May 2014. Project leader Ruurd Bierman presents the eReport and the iPad app.

View the results of Vision 2020 with the recommendations and cases:
– Vision 2020 App for iPad > download in the app store
– Vision 2020 App as HTML Version > view online
– Vision 2020 Full Report in PDF > view online

TV Revolution

Big headlines in chocolate letters on the front page of my favourite Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant: THE TV REVOLUTION WILL FINALLY REACH HOLLAND THIS SUMMER. Apparently, I’m no great Media insider. I had no idea what the headlines were referring to. (Originally published on EBUzz)

I assumed it might have something to do with Rupert Murdoch’s move into Dutch TV football. Recently Fox ‘bought’ the top Dutch football league in a 12 year, €1bn deal launching a free-to-air channel aimed at undermining the strong position of Dutch public service broadcaster NOS.But no, it concerned the arrival of Netflix, the American provider of on-demand internet streaming services and connected TV.  The article was in no doubt: the winners will be viewers.A special Vison2020 session at the General Assembly in Malta (28/6) focused on the impact of Netflix and the other ‘new kids on the block,’ like Hulu, Google, YouTube, Spotify, Telcos – on Europe’s media landscape.The classic media value chain is evolving into a ‘value network’ with the emergence of new gatekeepers – mainly global players mainly from the USA.  Market players are taking up new roles: cable companies now offer video services; search engines like Google invest in content production.Some of the gatekeepers may eventually even dominate the whole chain from production to audience consumption. Roles are blurring. And the role PSM seeks to play in this value chain is still unclear.

Should we compete or cooperate with the new kids – or with our local commercial competitors? Andif we cooperate, should it be in the areas of distribution and/or content production?Or should we focus entirely on our own navigation platforms, creating Electronic Programme Guides(EPGs) or Video-on-Demand (VOD) services?It’s a topic which occupied the minds of the senior echelons of the EBU Community attending the GA, and one which frequently engages the Vision2020 Experts Groups.To set the stage, NRK’s new Director General, Thor Gjermund Eriksen described the new media landscape in Norway to the GA – sharing his experience of coproducing the international drama series Lilyhammer in cooperation with Netflix.VRT’s  Dieter Boen – a Member of the Content & Audience Experts Group 1, followed – providing insights into the business model of Stievie, an experimental Over The Top content (OTT) platform for catch-up video, jointly run by VRT and Flemish commercial broadcasters.The lively debate his presentation sparked underlined that these are matters for urgent consideration.  PSM want to do more than produce quality content; we want to aggregate and distribute content and reaching audiences using our own platforms.At the same time, a number of participants expressed an open mind to the possibility of collaborating with external stakeholders, according to context, regulations and conditions.Remarkable for me, is the potential this represents to develop complex strategies based on PSM principles and pragmatism. Partnerships can be advantageous: access to global players with experience and expertise from a parallel media world. Partnerships can also be useful to reach audiences on new platforms.  Ever heard the expression, ‘compete on content, and cooperate on technology and distribution services?’It’s too soon for definitive conclusions and generalisations.  But these are all starting points for experimentation and learning ‘by doing.’ As part of a broader and active approach to innovation, in the search for new directions.

At the Trends Conference in Brussels (31/5) Futurist Alan Moore urged us all to ‘replace fear of change with curiosity’. At the GA, I learned from Dieter Boen to add ‘innovative action’ to the equation.  Collaborate with the new kids on the block? It’s child’s play!

Interview Fast Moving Targets: Choices will have to be made

Ruurd is interviewed for Fast Moving Targets, Platform for innovation in the field of media, communication and technology. He talks to Leonieke Daalder about the future of public broadcasting (in dutch). Read the full article on the website of Fast Moving Targets (dutch) >