COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on media organisations worldwide. But there are also lessons to be learned from the pandemic.
COVID-19 clearly showed the importance of diversifying revenue for media organisations. It’s dangerous to depend on only one or two sources of income when tragedy strikes. COVID-19 wiped out advertising and event revenue, for example.
This is not a new experience in the sense that other environmental changes impacted revenue for media organisations before. We already experienced the devastating impact of the digital transformation for advertising revenue, as Facebook and Google became the main takers in the advertising game. And economic recessions, in general, reduce revenue from newspaper sales, digital subscriptions or donations.
In Myanmar, the poorest country in Southeast Asia, financial stability is an even higher mountain to climb.
Nevertheless, community radio project Khayae FM (KFM) has started the process of diversifying revenue. They recently participated in a workshop by Deutsche Welle Akademie and Global Ground Media. It was the first virtual workshop at KFM ever.
KFM’s station managers Mee Mee and Thu Thu, have been thinking about increasing revenue for some time, so they already have a list of possible new products. So the workshop on 3 and 4 June, focused on assessing the potential of the ideas and ranking them accordingly. The station managers and volunteers looked at audience demand, experience and skills needed, and possible profit amongst other things.
The next steps are gathering data by conducting audience and competitor research and designing a path towards financial sustainability in the long run. Deutsche Welle Akademie and Global Ground Media will work with KFM until the end of the year on these activities.