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Hacking Public Service Media Funding model through Civic Crowdfunding?

Tiziano Bonini - Università Iulm di Milano ([email protected]) @tbonini Ivana Pais - Università Cattolica di Milano ([email protected]) @ivanapais

[email protected] Working Group “PSM’s Redefined Remit in the Networked Society” Antwerp, 23 September 2016

Research question: Is it possible to reform PSM licence fee model through the dynamics of civic crowdfunding, allowing citizens to decide which programs they may invest a (20%) quota in? How citizens would react?

The proposed scenario rules of the "game"

In the case of Italy that we have analyzed, 20% of the current licence fee corresponds to 22.70 Euros, rounded down to 20 Euros in order to facilitate distribution. Citizens can choose to invest 1, 5, 10 or 20 Euros in one or more programmes. Each of these amounts corresponds to a different reward, as it does on all existing digital crowdfunding platforms. In order to participate in this plan of allocating resources, the citizen should pay a tax of 5 Euros in addition to the current licence fee. This would be necessary to cover the management costs of the new financing model, and to demonstrate the citizen’s will to take on the responsibility of making economic choices that can shift the productive balances of a large media company.

1 €: digital thanks on the programme’s website as compensation 5 €: donors will be mentioned in the ending titles of a TV programme or, for a radio programme, a special live thanks from the hosts to one supporter at the end of every episode 10 €: the citizens/supporters will become part of the community of the programme they invested in. They will receive a newsletter that updates them on the content of the episodes broadcast, with links to watch or listen to them again. 20 €: take part in a community of the programmes’ most loyal supporters. They will receive a weekly newsletter asking for your opinion and comments about past and future episodes. The programme editors will invite a member of this community to join a newsroom session and take part to the recordings session or to the live broadcasting.

methodology

After hypothesising our model and establishing its operating rules, we decided to make a first exploratory test on a limited number of Italian Internet users and tax payers through an online questionnaire between the months of November 2014 and February 2015, exactly when citizens are called to pay the RAI licence fee. We opened a Facebook page to promote the circulation of the questionnaire and collect comments. A total of 639 people responded to our online survey. We compared our sample to the overall population of Internet users in the country, as described by official statistics (ISTAT Indagine Multiscopo, 2014). We considered the following background characteristics: sex; level of education (upper secondary or less versus tertiary); age (four classes: less than 25; 25-34; 35-54; 55 or more); macro-region (North versus Centre-South). Among our respondents, we selected 495 records displaying valid answers to all the characteristics listed above. Comparing this subsample with the national ISTAT statistics, we detected that the cases in our dataset over-represent the tertiary scholar degree, more strongly in Northern regions, and that they under-represent lower-educated people, particularly among young people in Southern regions. In order to (at least partially) correct these biases, all the analyses displayed in this paper were compared to the ISTAT statistics and accordingly weighted to correct our sample’s under/over-representations.

Findings

How many Italian citizens pay the licence fee

Yes: 70,2%

No: 29,8%

licence fee evasion  rate in Italy (source: Rai, 2014):

27%

How you would like Italian public service media (Rai) to be funded?

licence fee-only 22,9%

tax in the electricity bill (recently adopted in 2016) 21,8%

direct funds from the State  14,2%

current model (licence fee advertising) 18,4%

voluntary donations (US model) 22,6%

10

0

3,95

5,9

Evaluate Rai content in a scale from 0 (very bad) to 10 (excellent)

tv

radio

respondents who pay the licence fee

respondents who evade the licence fee

2,9

5,61

Which is your favourite Rai TV channel? (first 5 results)

Rai 3    25,4%

Rai Storia    17,5%

Rai 5    14,3%

Rai Movie    11,2%

Rai News    10,9%

None    7,2%

Which is your favourite Rai Radio channel? (first 3 results)

Radio2    37,7%

Radio3    28,4%

Radio1    9,5%

None    18,3%

How much you would be available to pay for the current content produced by Rai?

100

0

number of respondents

0€

30€

60€

90€

113,5€

130€

160€

190€

83% would like to pay LESS 10% as it is now 7% would be available to spend MORE

respondents who pay the licence fee

respondents who evade the licence fee

Would you accept to pay 5 more euros (113,5 5 = 118,5 euro) in order to decide where to invest the 20% of the licence fee you have to pay?

Sì 70%

No 30%

83% of the sample (410 people) would like to spend LESS than 113,5 € but, 70% of the same sample (346 people) would be available to spend MORE (118,5 €) if only it would have the opportunity to decide where to invest 20% of its licence fee.

> participation = > availability to pay the licence fee

available to pay

not available to pay

willingness to pay rises progressively with an increase in income. It reaches the majority very early, with incomes between 500-1000 €

Willingness to pay the "extended" licence fee (118,5 euros) related to income

<500 €

500-1000 €

1000-1500 €

1500-2000 €

2000-2500 €

>2500 €

68%

44%

29%

26%

21%

23%

32%

56%

71%

74%

81%

77%

Willingness to pay the "extended licence fee (118,5 euros) among people already paying the licence fee and people evading it

people already paying

people evading it

72%

55%

Willingness to pay the "extended" version of the licence fee is higher among people who are already paying the current licence fee than among people who are evading it. It is notable that also among those who are currently evading the licence fee, the majority (55%) would be available to pay the "new" licence fee.

willingness to pay the "extended" licence fee related to education

graduated

high school

74,6%

68%

willingness to pay the "extended" licence fee related to North/Center-South divisions

Center-South

North

76,4%

63,6%

willingness to pay related to the most appreciated TV channel

Rai 1

Rai 2

Rai 3

Rai 4

Rai 5

Rai News

Rai Storia

Rai Movie

62%

70%

66%

52%

86%

86%

66%

84%

willingness to pay the "extended" licence fee (113,5 + 5 euros) varies as a function of the most appreciated TV channel: who prefers thematic channels (Rai 5, Rai News, Rai Storia, Rai Movie) is more available to pay than those who prefer generalist channels (Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3)

willingness to pay related to the most appreciated Radio channel

Radio1

Radio2

Radio3

Isoradio

59%

75%

82%

60%

Where the 20 euros would go on average - TV shows

SuperQuark

Ulisse

L'Albero Azzurro

Report

Presa Diretta

Doc3

Sconosciuti

La Grande Storia

Rai Storia

Gate C

nuovo prog. di approf. politico

nuovo prog. di documentari

nuovo prog. di giornal. investig.

1,27 €

0,97 €

0,59 €

3,19 €

1,08 €

0,72 €

0,36 €

1,08 €

1,16 €

0,39 €

0,94 €

1,28 €

0,60 €

average investment on TV shows: 1,04 euros

(investigative journalism tv show

(science and technology tv show)

SuperQuark

Ulisse

L'Albero Azzurro

Report

Presa Diretta

Doc3

Sconosciuti

La Grande Storia

Rai Storia

Gate C

new show about politics

new show of documentaries

new investigative journalism show

127.000/1.270.000 €

97.000/970.000 €

59.000/590.000 €

319.000/3.190.000 €

108.000/1.080.000 €

72.000/720.000 €

36.000/360.000 €

108.000/1.080.000 €

116.000/1.160.000 €

39.000/390.000 €

94.000/940.000 €

128.000/1.280.000 €

60.000/600.000 €

increased budget available for the TV shows included in the crowdfunding model if 100.000/1.000.000 citizens join to the civic crowdfunding model

total amount of budget available if 100.000 citizens join the model:

total amount of budget available if 1.000.000 citizens join the model:

1,36 millions € (0,07% of the total income from licence fee; RAI 2013)

13,6 millions € (0,7% of the total income from licence fee; RAI 2013)

Where the 20 euros would go on average - Radio shows

Radio Anch'io

Caterpillar

Radio3 Mondo

Tutta la città ne parla

Tre Soldi

Radio3 Scienza

new storytelling show

new current affairs show

new fiction series

0,12 €

1,15 €

0,57 €

0,31 €

0,29 €

0,50 €

1,30 €

0,78 €

1,17 €

average investments on radio shows: 0,68 euros

Radio Anch'io

Caterpillar

Radio3 Mondo

Tutta la città ne parla

Tre Soldi

Radio3 Scienza

Nuovo prog. di Storytelling

Nuovo talk show attualità

Nuovo prog. di fiction

12.000/120.000 €

115.000/1.150.000 €

57.000/570.000 €

31.000/310.000 €

29.000/290.000 €

50.000/500.000 €

130.000/1.300.000 €

78.000/780.000 €

117.000/1.170.000 €

increased budget available for the Radio shows included in the crowdfunding model if 100.000/1.000.000 citizens join to the civic crowdfunding model

total amount of budget available if 100.000 citizens join the model:

619.000 € (0,035% of the total income from licence fee; RAI 2013)

total amount of budget available if 1.000.000 citizens join the model:

6.190.000 € (0,35% of the total income from licence fee; RAI 2013)

if 100.000 people agree to join this model, 1,98 millions € (0,11% of the total income from licence fee; RAI 2013) would shift toward the budget of the 22 radio and tv shows selected to be included in the model

scenario #1

scenario #2

if 1.000.000 people agree to join this model, 19,8 millions € (1,1% of the total income from licence fee; RAI 2013) would shift toward the budget of the 22 radio and tv shows selected to be included in the model

How much you will be available to donate AFTER paying the "extended" licence fee?

0 €

1-10 €

11-20 €

21-50 €

51-100 €

101-200 €

61

56

78

66

18

9

number of respondents

Even more interesting was the fact that 57.8% (200 people) among those respondents who accepted to pay more (346 respondents out of 495) would be willing to donate to the Italian PSM an avarage of 22,8 euros more, AFTER paying the "extended" licence fee.