Case Study: OurPlanet-TV (Japan)

Based on the interview made on 28.02.2011 with Hajime Shiraishi, OurPlanet-TV founder.

The name of the publication and / or company

OurPlanetTV

Established

2001/10/21

Web Address

www.ourplanet-tv.org

Form of the company

NPO (Not-for-Profit Organization)

Describe your site or business in few words.

OurPlanetTV is a non-profit alternative media organization that develops its own documentary and interview shows, and uploads them onto the internet. Although the group reports on a variety of social issues, its main focus is reporting on everyday life issues. Using community groups, movements, and labor organizations as their information sources, OurPlanetTV documents things happening in local areas and communities, mainly through videos.

The majority of its coverage since March 2011’s Fukushima Dai-cihi nuclear power plant accident has been about issues concerning radiation, and safety issues especially focusing on children.

On top of being an online media service, offline, the organization has been focussing on activities such as holding film screenings and briefing sessions. They have also turned part of their office into a media centre, allowing both children and adults to take part in workshops to learn about making videos and improving their media literacy.

The website is updated once every two, three days, and a video is uploaded onto the site once a week.
 The website records about 1000 unique users every day, and gets 10,000 to 20,000 page views every day. Videos are also uploaded onto YouTube.
 Main audience is people in their 20s to 30s, and women, especially those with children.

Form of the company

NPO (Not-for-Profit Organization)

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

Content creators, paid full-time

3. Many of the staff are volunteers or student intern

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

Operates as a non-profit organization.  The website contains no advertising, so most of the revenue comes from membership fees, donations, and contract project production costs from films.

Some DVD sales of films produced,  seminar fees.

Sales

20,000,000 – 30,000,000 Yen (around 2.4 million USD)

Yearly Revenue

About 250,000 yen (around 3000 USD) in the black, but no profits.

What would be the most important thing on your road to sustainability?

Currently, Our Planet TV has three full-time staff so we are not able to cover a wide range of stories. Our ideal would be to use around 500 million yen of funding to hire 20 to 30 reporters. In order to do so we need to create a fundraising strategy, and aim to try and collect funds of about 50 million yen. We do not believe a membership fee system would keep us in business, and although we would like to run on funds donated to us by individuals, it is not simple as Japan is not a culture that is used to donating money to organizations. The money Our Planet TV survives on now is given to us by other organizations as a fee to make films for them. There have been suggestions to expand this service, but there is a risk it will control our working schedule, making it difficult to jump out when a story comes in when we have a deadline to keep. Nevertheless, we will continue with this service, and work on our fundraising to collect donations in the next year or two. Our performance here will be vital in determining whether Our Planet TV can stay in business.