Public Media Platform to focus on business planning in project’s second phase

By Ben Mook

DENVER — The Public Media Platform is moving into the next phase of its CPB grant, shifting its focus to developing a sustainable business plan and more ways for public media stations to access the content.

PMP Executive Director Kristin Calhoun announced the project’s next phase July 9 during the “Digital Day” conference leading up to the Public Media Development and Marketing Conference in Denver.

CPB’s five-year, $8 million grant to PMP provided $6 million for the nearly completed build-out and $2 million for the “operational phase,” which winds down on an incremental basis through 2016, according to Michael Levy, CPB executive v.p. of public affairs.

The PMP is an application programming interface (API) that provides easy access to both public radio and public television digital content.

Public media’s top distributors — NPR, PBS, Public Radio International, American Public Media and Public Radio Exchange — have guided its build-out phase as project partners; they will continue their support, Calhoun said. Each partner has contractually agreed to continue feeding content in the PMP during the new three-year grant period.

“The partners agreed to keep putting stuff in and keep it from getting stale,” Calhoun said.

During the session, Calhoun reported that more than 37,000 news stories, images, audio clips and video clips have been uploaded to the PMP.

As PMP moves into the second phase of its CPB start-up grant, its leaders will be focused on creating a business plan that charts a path to sustainability, Calhoun said. Options under consideration include opening the API up to other content creators, building something like an app store, selling and licensing PMP code or running it as a fee-based service along the lines of the Public Radio Satellite System.

“The good thing is that it is not going to take much for us to survive until we figure that out now that the PMP is built,” she said.

Reported with assistance from Karen Everhart.

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