MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 9 March 2004
9 MARCH 2004
The Ministry for Culture and Heritage (doesn't that sound distinctly Orwellian?) announced last week that Triangle Television is the successful applicant to operate the non-commercial television frequency in the greater Wellington region. There aren't many of these non-commercial frequencies - no more than one per region, with only the Auckland and Wellington frequencies ever used - and, frankly, they're a licence to lose money, as the previous occupant of the Wellington frequency proved successfully.
Triangle, which has been operating on the Auckland non-commercial frequency since August 1998, has been obliged to shape its content to reflect community interests, whilst significantly restricted in the style and quantity of its commercial messages. The Triangle formula: sell programming time cheaply to community groups, provide low-cost production assistance, broadcast the resulting programmes, fill in the remaining airtime with documentary content mostly sourced at no cost or inexpensively from satellite feeds, and ask for viewer donations. If you're wondering where the real revenue is, there isn't much. That Triangle has still been able to survive is an amazing accomplishment.
The new Triangle Television Wellington will operate as a totally separate entity from the Auckland station and intends to focus on developing a clear Wellington identity.
Programming will reflect the diverse and distinct nature of Wellington and its people. It will be clearly the region's own, with an eclectic mix of Wellington regional-access television including community, music, arts and entertainment shows, plus international news and information. Like Auckland, it will broadcast 24 hours a day.
Triangle Television does not intend to rush into getting the Wellington station to air. It will firstly consult widely with Wellington's spectrum of communities.
The NZPA have just introduced a new service, The Newwws, which automates news site and web page checking, telling you when any of your favourite sites change.
The Newwws was developed by UK software company Wordcraft International, who supplied NZPA with a customised version of the software, designed to seamlessly integrate with the news agency's popular NewsQuest Internet database.
The Newwws product suite consists of two products:
* The Newwws - which automatically monitors information sources from the Internet and delivers information extracts and change notifications to the desktop.
* Business Information Server - a multi-user, network version of The Newwws. Information is gathered and filtered to meet the needs of subscribing organisations.
With The Newwws, headlines from any nominated website can be displayed in a scrolling ticker window - with a click through to the full text content.
This kind of news on demand product has had limited success in the past, with the most notable failure being PointCast, a great idea that was too much of a bandwidth-hogger to survive. The Newwws, on the other hand, is subscriber funded (rather than advertiser funded, the model used for PointCast), so its uptake should be slower and less bandwidth-devouring. There's also more broadband capacity in offices these days, which should mean less of a problem for The Newwws.
NZPA's customised versions of The Newwws products are available for download (free thirty day evaluation) from http://www.nzpa.co.nz/cm-the-newwws.php. NB: you must be a subscriber to access NewsQuest content.
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Applications are currently being sought for the operation of a non-commercial radio station in Auckland. Wellington has enjoyed non-commercial radio for a great many years, with Access Radio providing an audio outlet for a wide variety of ethnic, artistic and cultural groups. Now it's time for Auckland's community organisations to be heard - provided there's someone willing to take the lead in putting together a team to apply for the frequency.
Any community-minded entrepreneurs out there?
Total household income has a major influence on household Internet access, according to The Digital Divide, a new report published by Statistics New Zealand. The proportion of households connected to the Internet rises with income, with households reporting incomes greater than $100,000 being five times more likely to have an Internet connection in the home than households with incomes under $15,000.
The term digital divide is used to describe the gap between those who have access to information technologies such as the Internet, and those who do not. This report uses data from the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings with supporting data from the 2000/01 Household Economic Survey to identify which household characteristics influence this divide, where it can be found and whom it is affecting.
Level of education is also an important variable determining whether a household is connected to the Internet. Households where at least one person aged 15 years or over has a university qualification are the most likely to be connected, at 68 percent. In comparison, households where no one has a qualification have connection levels of only 12 percent.
Households consisting of a couple plus children have high levels of Internet access (55 percent).
Households with one person, or one parent and dependent children, are less likely than all other household types to access the Internet at home (16 and 30 percent, respectively).
The number of children in a household also appears to influence connectivity levels. Half of all households containing two children under the age of 15 are connected to the Internet, compared with a third of households with no children.
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