Via Michael Geist:
Sources indicate that the CBC is set to become the first major North American broadcaster to freely release one of its programs without DRM using BitTorrent. This Sunday, CBC will air Canada Next Great Prime Minister. The following day, it plans to freely release a high-resolution version via peer-to-peer networks without any DRM restrictions. This development is important not only because it shows that Canada’s public broadcaster is increasingly willing to experiment with alternative forms of distribution, but also because it may help crystallize the net neutrality issue in Canada.
Just posted a comment on Dan Misener’s blog (Dan now runs CBC radio, from what I can tell), that I thought was worth repeating here. Dan’s post was about connective tissue, says he:
On Spark, we’re trying really hard to make the show’s connective tissue live up to its content. That comes in the form of story treatments, editing techniques, music choices, sound design, scripts, segues, and all the other tiny little bits that go into making a radio program.
My comment was about the need to find the “core” of information-provision institutions:
i’ve been thinking about this lately: the changes on the web mean that many prized institutions are afraid of becoming obsolete. but i think the real problem is that the function they serve is not the one they thought they served … and they haven’t figured that out yet.
for instance, “providing information” is just one thing that say britannica, and mainstream media, and universities do. but it is not the *core* of their existence – and the core is where their importance and relevance lies. these institutions were fooled in the past century into thinking provision of information was the core of their existence, because information used to be scarce, and it’s distribution limited. now info is cheap and plentiful, and distribution ubiquitous … it turns out they aren’t all that valuable as providers of information.
and yet I feel deeply that professional media, britannica, and universities etc still have crucial roles to play in the world, they just haven’t adjusted yet to what that is.
they have to stop thinking of themselves as “providers of information” … they are something more (not sure what) and when the can confidently figure that out, they will find solutions to their angst about the future.
maybe your ideas here touch on something about where that core might be for radio.
Because I love good radio, I get very angry with CBC for their bad radio, of which the examples are abundant.
However…I must offer a big public congrats to them for two new shows:
- Spark, a great show about tech and trends hosteb by the so very excellent Nora Young; and
- Search Engine, another fine show about the web and how it’s impacting society, hosted by Jesse Brown
I just listened (on my collectik player, check the sidebar here) to CBCRadio3, Spark, and then Search Engine all in a row… and thought, whoa, is it possible that CBC is actually cool and with it? Well done programming decision-makers (ps when are you going to cancel these shows!?)
I have no idea when they are on the radio, but the podcast urls are:
Whoa. CBC podcasts have advertisement bumpers. Our public broadcaster is selling cars with our podcasts. What do you think of that?
And not a peep on Inside the CBC. Nothing on Teamakers. Nothing on CBC.ca (of course).
For instance, on Between the Covers [mp3].
Wondering what to think of it.
Ouimet over at Teamakers is throwing her hat into the ring as a candidate for CBC President. Me too. Here is my 6-point plan:
1. Podcast everything audio (none of this “best-of” stuff), and put *all* CBC TV on Youtube (leave the ads in).
Do you want people to consume your stuff? Then let them.
2. Allow all non-commercial stations to use your programming (maybe commercial, too)
I was struck, while in the US recently, that NPR radio shows pop up all over the radio dial on college stations. College stations here should be able to play CBC programs too. See above.
3. Focus internal production on: News and Documentary
A public broadcaster sinks or swims on its news and documentary programming – at least that’s where it’s reputation lies. Stop trying to make dismal “entertainment” programming. It sucks. Just stop it. You are wasting money. (Mostly).
4. Increase budget for external Canadian productions
On radio, much of the good stuff is done by external producers. I don’t know much about TV, but I bet you buying good Canadian-produced programming is a more efficient way of getting good stuff than trying to produce it yourself. And this does just as much to support Canadian culture etc as fat CBC production budgets would.
5. Focus the CBC’s Internet strategy and hire more people who understand the Internet
CBC.ca is getting better, but still isn’t good enough. See point 1. The focus should be: providing tons of good content online, and making it easy to find. Set up a conference with the world’s leading public broadcasters: BBC, Australian Broadcasting Corp, CBC, NPR …and try to figure out what best practices are. Share your experience.
6. CBC Labs
Open content shows? Kids with cameras? Young producers showcase? CBC documentary contests? etc. CBC has done some good stuff here, but lets open it up more. “CBC Labs” with a mandate to “explore the evolving landscape of broadcasting in the Internet age.” Budget, oh, say, $2 million. RIP Zed & Radio3 … Oh, and: Put it all on the web.
In addition to this, I will do everything in Ouimet’s platform, which makes me 6 better.