PBS, NPR online – E-commerce picks up

Once reluctant to embrace the Web, public broadcasters are starting to build online stories or expand existing online shops, The New York Times reported Oct. 23.

Their goal is both to generate revenue and retain their audience.

The Public Broadcasting Service would not disclose its revenue from video sales, but an executive speaking on condition of anonymity said the amount was in the tens of millions.

National Public Radio plans to open its first Web store in November.

Tom Lix, president of Public Interactive, a for-profit firm that builds Web sites for public radio and TV stations, said some of his public radio clients worry about competition from NPR.

NPR officials would not say how the network would divvy up revenues for its online sales with its affiliates, or how NPR and its stations would handle on-air promotions for their respective online stores.

But Kenneth P. Stern, NPR’s executive vice president, told the Times, “We look at this not as how to cut the individual transaction fees, but rather, how can we develop the ecoinomics of the NPR system as a whole.”

For full story, go to The New York Times.

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