The platformization of public service media: A comparative analysis of five BVOD services in Western and Northern Europe | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918

Abstract

Recent developments in the media industries have signalled the need for public service media (PSM) organizations to reposition themselves in order to reach audiences, and also secure financial sustainability and programming rights. In repositioning themselves, PSM have increasingly embraced some of the core characteristics of platforms by developing a central video-on-demand (VOD) service as portal to PSM services, investing in exclusive content and using data to create richer user experiences and gain insights into audience practices. However, this ‘platformization’ process comes with both challenges and opportunities to reach the public service remit. This article conducts an analysis of the on-demand portals of PSM, to uncover how platformization is reshaping the PSM core remit and values, and how these are transposed in online services and offerings. The research employs a comparative case study analysis of five VOD services of PSM in Western and Northern Europe: Belgium-Flanders (VRT.NU), Belgium-Wallonia (RTBF Auvio), Finland (Yle Areena), Ireland (RTÉ Player) and Norway (NRK TV). The results discuss three main categories: interfaces and features, strategies for catalogue and content curation, and tools for discoverability and prominence.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/macp_00070_1
2023-11-23
2024-02-25
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Bardoel, J. and d’Haenens, L. (2008), ‘Reinventing public service broadcasting in Europe: Prospects, promises and problems’, Media, Culture & Society, 30:3, pp. 33755.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bowen, G. A. (2009), ‘Document analysis as a qualitative research method’, Qualitative Research Journal, 9:2, pp. 2740.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bruun, H. (2021), ‘From scheduling to trans-programming’, Media, Culture & Society, 43:4, pp. 61328.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (2022), Bilan du contrat de gestion de la RTBF [Review of the RTBF management contract] 2019–2022, Brussels: CSA.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. D’Arma, A., Raats, T. and Steemers, J. (2021), ‘Public service media in the age of SVoDs: A comparative study of PSM strategic responses in Flanders, Italy and the UK’, Media, Culture & Society, 43:4, pp. 682700, https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443720972909.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Direito-Rebollal, S. and Donders, K. (2022), ‘Public service media as drivers of innovation: A case study analysis of policies and strategies in Spain, Ireland, and Belgium’, Communications, 48:1, pp. 4367, https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2021-0003.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. DOGA (2020), ‘NRK TV: The streaming service everyone loves’, DOGA, https://doga.no/en/tools/inclusive-design/cases/NRK-TV/. Accessed 11 August 2022.
  8. Donders, K. (2019), ‘Public service media beyond the digital hype: Distribution strategies in a platform era’, Media, Culture & Society, 41:7, pp. 101128.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Donders, K. (2021), Public Service Media and the Law: Theory and Practice in Europe, New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Donders, K. and Van den Bulck, H. (2016), ‘Decline and fall of public service media values in the international content acquisition market: An analysis of small public broadcasters acquiring BBC Worldwide content’, European Journal of Communication, 31:3, pp. 299316.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. European Broadcasting Union (2022), How Public Service Media Deliver Value, Geneva: EBU Media Intelligence Service, https://www.ebu.ch/publications/research/login_only/infographic/the-value-of-psm. Accessed 26 November 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Esser, F. (2019), ‘Comparative research’, in H. Van den Bulck, M. Puppis, K. Donders and L. Van Audenhove (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Methods for Media Policy Research, Cham: Springer Nature, pp. 85101.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Esser, F. and Hanitzsch, T. (2012), ‘On the why and how of comparative inquiry in communication studies’, in F. Esser and T. Hanitzsch (eds), The Handbook of Comparative Communication Research, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 322.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. European Commission, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, Parcu, P. L., Brogi, E., Verza, S., Da Costa L. B. D., Carlini, R., Trevisan, M., Tambini, D., Mazzoli, E. M., Klimkiewicz, B., Broughton Micova, S., Petković, B., Rossi, M. A., Stasi, M. L., Valcke, P., Lambrecht, I., Irion, K., Fahy, R., Idiz, D., Meiring, A., Seipp, T., Poort, J., Ranaivoson, H., Afilipoaie, A. and Domazetovikj, N. (2022), Study on Media Plurality and Diversity Online: Final Report, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2759/529019. Accessed 10 January 2023.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Evens, T. and Donders, K. (2018), Platform Power and Policy in Transforming Television Markets, Palgrave Global Media Policy and Business, New York: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Exit (2019–present, Norway: NRK).
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Goodwin, P. (2020), ‘Universal, but not necessarily useful’, in P. Savage, M. Medina and G. F. Lowe (eds), Universalism in Public Service Media: RIPE@2019, Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg, pp. 3747.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Goyanes, M., Costa-Sánchez, C. and Deméter, M. (2021), ‘The social construction of Spanish public television: The role and function of TVE in a multiplatform environment’, International Journal of Communication, 15, pp. 3782801.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Helberger, N., Karppinen, K. and D’Acunto, L. (2018), ‘Exposure diversity as a design principle for recommender systems’, Information, Communication & Society, 21:2, pp. 191207.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Hesmondhalgh, D. and Lobato, R. (2019), ‘Television device ecologies, prominence and datafication: The neglected importance of the set-top box’, Media, Culture & Society, 41:7, pp. 95874.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Hesmondhalgh, D. and Lotz, A. D. (2020), ‘Video screen interfaces as new sites of media circulation power’, International Journal of Communication, 14, pp. 386409.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Heydays (2019), ‘The colorful new identity of NRK TV’, Medium, 11 November, https://3min.io/the-colorful-new-identity-of-nrk-tv-f1c86df02fe7. Accessed 12 August 2022.
  23. Hildén, J. (2022), ‘The public service approach to recommender systems: Filtering to cultivate’, Television & New Media, 23:7, pp. 77796.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Hutchinson, J. and Sørensen, J. K. (2020), ‘Can automated strategies work for PSM in a network society? Engaging digital intermediation for informed citizenry’, in M. Túñez-López, F. Campos-Freire and M. Rodríguez-Castro (eds), The Values of Public Service Media in the Internet Society, Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 5975.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Iordache, C. (2022), ‘Netflix in Europe: Four markets, four platforms? A comparative analysis of audio-visual offerings and investment strategies in four EU states’, Television & New Media, 23:7, pp. 72142.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Iordache, C., Raats, T. and Afilipoaie, A. (2022), ‘Transnationalisation revisited through the Netflix original: An analysis of investment strategies in Europe’, Convergence, 28:1, pp. 23654.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Jakubowicz, K. (2008), ‘Public service broadcasting in the 21st century: What chance for a new beginning?’, in G. F. Lowe and J. Bardoel (eds), From Public Service Broadcasting to Public Service Media: RIPE@2007, Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg, pp. 2949.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Jensen, I. K. (2022), ‘NRK drama series proves a rare “segment-smasher”’, Nordvision, 1 March, https://www.nordvision.org/annual-report-2021/nrk-drama-series-proves-a-rare-segment-smasher/. Accessed 12 August 2022.
  29. Johnson, C. (2017), ‘Beyond catch-up: VoD interfaces, ITV Hub and the repositioning of television online’, Critical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies, 12:2, pp. 12138.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Kelly, J. P. (2021), ‘“Recommended for you”: A distant reading of BBC iPlayer’, Critical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies, 16:3, pp. 26485.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Kelly, J. P. and Sørensen, J. K. (2021), ‘“What’s on the interface tonight?”: A longitudinal analysis of the publishing strategies of public service video-on-demand platforms in the UK and Denmark’, MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 37:70, pp. 6690.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Lotz, A. D. (2022), Netflix and Streaming Video: The Business of Subscriber-Funded Video on Demand, Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Lowe, G. F. and Bardoel, J. (eds) (2008), From Public Service Broadcasting to Public Service Media: RIPE@2007, Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Lowe, G. F. and Nissen, C. S. (eds) (2011), Small among Giants: Television Broadcasting in Smaller Countries, Göteborg: Nordicom.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Lowe, G. F. and Savage, P. (2020), ‘Universalism in public service media: Paradoxes, challenges, and development’, in P. Savage, M. Medina and G. F. Lowe (eds), Universalism in Public Service Media: RIPE@2019, Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg, pp. 1124.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Lyubareva, I., Benghozi, J. P. and Fidele, T. (2014), ‘Online business models in creative industries: Diversity and structure’, International Studies of Management & Organization, 44:4, pp. 4362.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. McKelvey, F. and Hunt, R. (2019), ‘Discoverability: Toward a definition of content discovery through platforms’, Social Media + Society, 5:1, pp. 115, https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118819188.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Michalis, M. (2022), ‘Trends and perspectives on digital platforms and digital television in Europe| public service broadcasting in the online television environment: The case for PSB VoD players and the role of policy focusing on the BBC iPlayer’, International Journal of Communication, 16, pp. 52544.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Moe, H. (2008), ‘Dissemination and dialogue in the public sphere: A case for public service media online’, Media, Culture & Society, 30:3, pp. 31936.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Napoli, P. M. (1998), ‘Evolutionary theories of media institutions and their responses to new technologies’, in L. Lederman (ed.), Communication Theory: A Reader, Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, pp. 31729.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Napoli, P.M. (1999), ‘Deconstructing the diversity principle’, Journal of Communication, 49:4, pp. 734.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Pham, A. (2021), ‘NRK’s head of drama Ivar Kohn talks stepping up international partnerships (EXCLUSIVE)’, Variety, 10 October, https://variety.com/2021/tv/festivals/nrk-ivar-kohn-1235085382/. Accessed 12 August 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Przeworski, A. and Teune, H. (1982), The Logic of Comparative Social Inquiry, Malabar: R.E. Krieger Pub.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Puppis, M. (2009), ‘Media regulation in small states’, International Communication Gazette, 71:1&2, pp. 717.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Raats, T., Donders, K. and Ramsey, P. (2022), ‘Platforms, people and politics: The challenges for public service media in Ireland’, Journal of Digital Media & Policy, pp. 122, https://doi.org/10.1386/jdmp_00109_1.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Raats, T. and Evens, T. (2021), ‘“If you can’t beat them, be them”: A critical analysis of local streaming platform and Netflix alternative Streamz’, MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 37:70, pp. 5065.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Raats, T. and Jensen, P. M. (2021), ‘The role of public service media in sustaining TV drama in small markets’, Television & New Media, 22:7, pp. 83555.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Rotermund, H. (2018), ‘Digital media culture and public service media in the platform era’, in G. F. Lowe, H. Van den Bulck and K. Donders (eds), Public Service Media in the Networked Society: RIPE@2017, Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg, pp. 7590.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Radio-télévision belge de la Communauté française (RTBF) (2019), ‘Auvio élargit son offre de contenus avec l’arrivée d’AB3 et ABXplore sur sa plateforme’, RTBF, 13 September, https://www.rtbf.be/article/auvio-elargit-son-offre-de-contenus-avec-l-arrivee-d-ab3-et-abxplore-sur-sa-plateforme-10314472. Accessed 11 August 2022.
  50. Skam (2015–17, Norway: NRK).
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Sørensen, J. K. (2020), ‘Personalised universalism in the age of algorithms’, in P. Savage, M. Medina and G. F. Lowe (eds), Universalism in Public Service Media: RIPE@2019, Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg, pp. 191205.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Sørensen, J. K. and Van den Bulck, H. (2020), ‘Public service media online, advertising and the third-party user data business: A trade versus trust dilemma?’, Convergence, 26:2, pp. 42147.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Southern, L. (2017), ‘How Norwegian TV broadcaster NRK used Instagram to hook teenagers’, Digiday, 14 July, https://digiday.com/media/norwegian-tv-broadcaster-nrk-used-instagram-hook-teenagers/. Accessed 12 August 2022.
  54. Syvertsen, T., Donders, K., Enli, G. and Raats, T. (2019), ‘Media disruption and the public interest’, Nordic Journal of Media Studies, 1:1, pp. 1128.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Taylor, C. and Perego, E. (2022), The Routledge Handbook of Audio Description, New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Van den Bulck, H., D’Haenens, L. and Raats, T. (2018), ‘Public service media in Western Europe today: Ten countries compared’, in L. D’Haenens, H. Sousa and J. Trappel (eds), Comparative Media Policy, Regulation and Governance in Europe, Bristol: Intellect, pp. 93116.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Van den Bulck, H. and Moe, H. (2017), ‘Public service media, universality and personalisation through algorithms: Mapping strategies and exploring dilemmas’, Media, Culture & Society, 40:6, pp. 87592.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. van Dijck, J., Poell, T. and de Waal, M. (2018), The Platform Society: Public Values in a Connective World, New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. van Es, K. and Poell, T. (2020), ‘Platform imaginaries and Dutch public service media’, Social Media + Society, 6:2, pp. 110, https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305120933289.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Vanhaeght, A.-S. (2019), ‘The need for not more, but more socially relevant audience participation in public service media’, Media, Culture & Society, 41:1, pp. 12037.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Vašíčková, D. and Szczepanik, P. (2018), ‘Web TV as a public service: The case of Stream.cz, the East Central European answer to YouTube’, Media Industries, 5:2, pp. 6991.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Wauters, D. and Raats, T. (2018), ‘Public service media and ecosystem sustainability: Towards effective partnerships in small media markets’, in G. F. Lowe, H. van den Bulck and K. Donders (eds), Public Service Media in the Networked Society: RIPE@2017, Göteborg: Nordicom, pp. 17591.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Yle Asiakkuudet (2021), Yle’s Clientele 2021, Helsinki: Yleisradio Oy, Strategy and Clientele Department.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/macp_00070_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/macp_00070_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error