BizLab is here
WBUR launched BizLab in 2015, with funding from the Knight Foundation, believing it is critical that we invest in innovation and experimentation to identify new revenue channels to sustain public radio into the future. Given the changing landscape of journalism, media consumption, and digital advertising, there is an increasing urgency to test and measure the effectiveness of different funding models. Our collective concern is that public radio stations have not systematically explored options for increasing sustainability of their programming. At BizLab, we want to enable stations to uncover new avenues for revenue generation, distinct from traditional approaches including on-air drives, direct mail, and underwriting.
to our listeners, our partner stations, and business partners.
through ideation, brainstorming, and inspiration from parallel industries.
using the methods of lean start-ups, to evaluate desirability, feasibility, and viability.
when we see results. Build out an idea as a new line of revenue for public radio.
2018 BizLab Fellows
BizLab is funded through the generous support of WBUR, individual donors, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Knight Foundation, and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Latest News & Experiments
Is your nonprofit news organization reliant on donations and underwriting? BizLab’s July webinar presents three alternative ways of generating revenue at nonprofit news organizations: The VTDigger (http://vtdigger.org), as a service to Vermont businesses, post press releases from businesses, state agencies, political organizations and nonprofits. They have been expanding the services connected with press releases to explore if Read more about July 2019 Webinar: Transactional Business Models in Nonprofit Media[…]
Background WBUR’s iLab produces a variety of critically-acclaimed podcasts, but we’ve never asked our podcast listeners for donations. Our traditional on-air pledge drives have been limited to the region covered by our radio towers. In contrast, our podcasts are downloaded by listeners from around in the world; asking these listeners for donations could provide a Read more about Three Podcast Donation Experiments[…]
Topic: Fundraising Through Kickstarter Campaigns Join us on April 23 for presentations about a variety of kickstarter fundraising projects in public radio. During the hour, we will hear the backstory behind each project, the kickstarter goals and processes, results, and insights from the teams behind each initiative. WDET will be presenting on their Framed by Read more about April 2019 Webinar: Fundraising Through Kickstarter Campaigns[…]
Topic: Podcast Donation Experiments with NHPR & WBUR NHPR and WBUR have recently tested different ways of asking podcast listeners for donations. This webinar will break down the specifics of how they asked, how much they asked for, which platforms were used to collect donations, and how many donations were made. Rebecca Lavoie, NHPR’s Read more about February 2019 Webinar: Podcast Donation Experiments[…]
Monthly Webinar Series WBUR’s BizLab is excited to present a (free) monthly webinar series where leaders in testing new revenue streams for public media will present their findings: the story behind the story with details about how and what they tried, along with the financial outcomes, so you can learn exactly what worked and Read more about 2019 BizLab Webinars[…]
Now is the time to try out new revenue ideas WBUR launched BizLab because of a desire to ensure public radio stays financially strong, vibrant, and relevant to our audiences. BizLab is dedicated to evaluating new membership and revenue sources, identifying new markets for content, and developing new partnerships with business, education and tech communities. Since Read more about Advice on Running Revenue Experiments in Public Radio[…]
BizLab is very excited to announce the 6 stations we will be working with this year on testing new revenue streams: WAMU, WDET, Capital Public Radio, Louisville Public Media, WLRN, and Vermont Public Radio. We are kicking off work this month with WAMU and LPM, and will ramp up with the other 4 throughout Read more about 2019 Predictions of Public Radio Revenue Streams[…]
We are pleased to announce today that BizLab has received $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in support of our previously announced collaboration with public media stations to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age. This brings the total investment in the initiative to $1 million Read more about New Knight Foundation Funding[…]
BizLab has received new funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to expand our focus to testing funding models at other public radio stations. This is the beginning of a long-anticipated effort of broadening our learning and reach by testing business ideas in other public radio markets. We are looking for up to six other Read more about Let’s Experiment at Your Station[…]
[This is the final blog post on BizLab Fellow Wendi Ding’s project, the Persona Experiment.] To evaluate our donation personas, we ran ads on Facebook for three days pointing to our persona donation experiment. As outlined in our previous blog post, we wanted to determine two things with the experiment: if the personas reflect unique Read more about Donation Personas: Results[…]