The Audience Engine is an open-source , customizable suite of fundraising tools for public radio that is developed by the Congera Corporation, a subsidiary of WFMU Radio . It was conceived by and is being developed under the supervision of Ken Freedman , WFMU general manager, and Liz Berg, the station’s assistant general manager.

The platform is based is WFMU’s own successful model of fundraising and listener-community relations, project That Began development in 1998 [2] and now helps WFMU raise 70% of icts annual $ 2.5 million operating budget through icts website using crowdfunding technology. The developers explain that “by pairing online content , real-time playlist , social media , and community interaction tools directly with crowdfunding campaigns, WFMU has not only built a positive and intelligent online community , but also a sustainable model that can be adopted by Other organizations. ” [3] Besides radio, Audience Engine has potential use for online television and journalism. The goal is to “enable organizations to build audiences and become self sufficient.” [4]

Andrew Flanagan, of Billboard , wrote, “The philosophy Underlying Audience Engine’s development is la même that’s kept WFMU going: experimentation and independence The tech tumult of the past two decades HAS resulted in long-established business models, whether. Classified ads or subscriptions, Being destroyed without any substitutions for those models in the wings. ” [5] Freedman says that Audience Engine can “address the problems of legacy media dealing with new media platforms.It’s much more difficult for legacy institutions to make that transition.” [6]

A large part of Audience Engine’s appeal is its fundraising capabilities. “Audience Engine with a set of tools that integrates crowdfunding-inspired donation tools throughout a publisher’s website, with on-and-off widgets for donations as well as gift reward management, and a full suite of analytics. “Flanagan noted. [7] Freedman observed that ” Kickstarter did a great job of borrowing or stealing the concept of the pledge drive , and vastly improved it as well.” [8]

ALTHOUGH avocation Towards Primarily small and mid-sized stations, larger public radio stations Such As WBUR and WNYC are exploring the platform’s possibilities. [9]

The platform was publicly debuted at a launch event held at New York’s Civic Hall on November 5, 2015. [10] [11]

Platform

The platform is being built in modular APIs that utilize JavaScript and XML feeds, but will include modules that integrate into Drupal , [12] which is used by many small news organizations. [13] Users could adapt aspects of the system to their own needs and use as they deem necessary. “We are trying to make it modular,” said Freedman, “so people can just pick and choose from and use the whole thing.” [14]

Part of the Audience Engine’s philosophy is to retain the listener’s or reader’s attention on the website, rather than redirect them to external social media. “Community based radio stations-have to start thinking about online platforms That do not talk Effectively abandoned and networking to Twitter , Facebook , Reddit , or LinkedIn , and the rest of the usual suspects,” Said Matthew Lasar at Radio Survivor . “[O] nce your listeners and / or website readers are off to Twitter / Facebook-land, they’re all gone purpose. They’re not commenting on your podcast or stream or blog post in your house. They’re far far away,

“The problem for the content producer,” said Freedman, “is that when they send their audiences to off-site destinations, these giant data mining operations skim off critical information that should be the lifeblood of the digital producer – information that should be sustaining The artist or producer, not the big data enterprises. ” [16]

Radio World describes the Audience Engine as a “dashboard as featuring”, a responsively designed social page for radio and news sites, engineered for live, positive audience feedback and created with self-sustaining crowdfunding in mind. Interactive second screen, with incentives for positive contributions, and tools for stopping disruptive behavior. ” [17]

The project’s first module, a crowdfunding app called Mynte, is scheduled to launch in late 2015.

Besides WFMU, early adopters of Audience Engine include WWOZ -FM, a New Orleans-based jazz and blues station; WSOU -FM ( Seton Hall University ), and WPRB -FM ( Princeton University ). [18]

Merger with Spinitron

On February 3, 2016, Congera announced a merger with Spinitron LLC , a Boston-based company that provides music logging, reporting and publishing services to over 150 public and community radio stations in the US and Canada. [19] [20] As part of the Merger, Spinitron Co-Founders Eva Papp and Tom Worster joined Audience Engine, which stated its intent to expand its services from radio to include podcasters , journalists and other content-creating outlets. [21]

Development team

WFMU is developing Audience Engine with Bocoup , [22] a developer of open-source web technologies that has collaborated with Google , Microsoft , Walmart , eBay , and Apple . [23]

WordPress developers Joey Dehnert and Andrew Nealon at InsertCulture are building Audience Engine’s full web platform. [24]

The Audience Engine has received $ 500,000 in grant money over several years from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to undertake development of the software. [25] [26]

References

  1. Jump up^ Simpson, April, “Serving Mission, Seeking Profits Through Public Benefit Corporations”, Current.org, June 16, 2016
  2. Jump up^ Video: Ken Freedman’s Open Source Marriage of Audio, Music & Radio, The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, May 9, 2008
  3. Jump up^ “Meet Our Team, WFMU / Congera,” AudienceEngine.net
  4. Jump up^ “WFMU building open source audience,” The Wire , July 30, 2014
  5. Jump up^ Flanagan, Andrew, “WFMU Wants To Change How Media Talks To Its Audiences And Raises Money – For Free,” Billboard , July 29, 2015
  6. Jump up^ Flanagan,ibid.
  7. Jump up^ Flanagan,ibid.
  8. Jump up^ Flanagan,ibid.
  9. Jump up^ Kalish, Jon, “At debut, Audience Engine offers CRM and pledge-drive tools,”Current.org, November 11, 2015
  10. Jump up^ Kalish,ibid.
  11. Jump up^ Ken Freedman introduces the concept behind Audience Engine at Civic Hall, November 5, 2015 (video)
  12. Jump up^ Freedman, Ken, “Seeking Software Architect for WFMU’s Audience Engine Platform,”Drupal.org, March 23, 2014
  13. Jump up^ Lichterman, Joseph, “WFMU wants to build open tools to help radio stations (and others) raise money and build community,”NiemanLab, July 15, 2014
  14. Jump up^ Lichterman,ibid.
  15. Jump up^ Lasar, Matthew, “Keeping Your Listeners with You: Inside WFMU’s Audience Engine,” Radio Survivor, July 30, 2015
  16. Jump up^ Lasar,ibid.
  17. Jump up^ Vernon, Tom, “WFMU Keeps Audience In-House Discussions,”Radio World, October 21, 2015
  18. Jump up^ Vernon,ibid.
  19. Jump up^ Press release (pdf) announcing merger of Congera and Spinitron
  20. Jump up^ Schneider, Henry, “Audience Engine creator merge with radio playlist company Spinitron,”Current.org, February 3, 2016
  21. Jump up^ “Helping Indie Media Enter Digital Age Cited in Merger of WFMU-Borne Audience Engine and Spinitron,” Billboard, February 3, 2016
  22. Jump up^ Bocoup homepage
  23. Jump up^ Schneider, Henry, “WFMU’s Audience Engine aims to help make public media sustainable,”Current.org, June 16, 2015
  24. Jump up^ InsertCulture homepage
  25. Jump up^ de Aguiar, Molly, “Why Dodge Supports WFMU’s Audience Engine and What It Means for Community Journalism,” The Local News Lab, July 15, 2014
  26. Jump up^ Molly DeAguiar of the Dodge Foundation discusses the potential impact of Audience Engine for local journalism, Civic Hall, November 5, 2015 (video)

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