Feasibility Study of Using Crowdfunding Method for Drama Productions in IRIB

Document Type : Original Article



2 PhD in Communication, Director of the Department of Media Science, School of Communication and Media, Radio and Television University

3 Media Management MA., IRIB University


Extended Abstract
Introduction and problem statement:
Given the limitations of current media financing methods, achieving a sustainable financing method has been a serious challenge for the IRIB. One of the new financing methods in the world is the idea that you don't have to look for great investors to make a product, you can attract small but numerous investments to make it happen. This method is called crowdfunding, and the present study seeks to evaluate the applicability of this new global method in financing the productions of the IRIB and  identify the obstacles and the existing capacities for its successful application.
Theoretical background:
Many media companies provide at least part of their revenue through advertising, and some are entirely dependent on advertising. Problems with conventional financing methods have drawn media owners' attention to new and ongoing resources. The term "crowdfunding" refers to the concept of crowdsourcing, which describes the process of outsourcing to a large and, of course, anonymous population. "Crowdsourcing is derived from the words 'crowd' and 'outsourcing'," says Kleiman (2008), referring to the outsourcing of a particular task to a group of people outside the organization.
Crowdfunding is not just a new way of financing, it is a new way of connecting entrepreneurs and idea owners with the public. It should be noted that financing is one of the achievements of this method and there are other more important achievements. It can be argued that crowdfunding, by providing transparency and accountability, will bring about public participation and trust, which is the most important concern of any organization, especially media organizations.
Due to the novelty of the subject and the need to use the experts' opinions in various fields, the Delphi method was used. The research was conducted in three stages with the participation of 20 participants, including the IRIB managers, university experts, start-up business activists, and experts in the field of crowdfunding. Also, content analysis was used to analyze the data.
The research findings were presented in two categories; capacities and obstacles to the implementation of the crowdfunding platform. The existing capacities for the realization of crowdfunding included advertising capacities of the IRIB, structural capacities of the IRIB, the economic and legal capacities of the IRIB, the capacities of drama productions, and cultural capacities of society. The existing barriers to crowdfunding included cultural barriers to promotion, cultural barriers of the IRIB, the fundamental problems of IRIB with the crowdfunding method, structural barriers of the IRIB, legal and regulatory barriers, cultural barriers to society, and barriers to drama production.
Discussion and conclusion:
The implementation of the crowdfunding model in the IRIB requires an agile, dynamic, creative, and innovative structure in which transparency of performance is also provided for model participants. According to the research findings, the sovereignty of the IRIB and its current situation makes it difficult to implement a system of transparency. However, due to the need to finance drama productions, the broadcaster can invest in teams and companies outside the organization. At the same time, the executive power of this organization can help solve the legal problems of implementing the model.
The design of the motivational system and gifts is one of the most important dimensions of this model, and the drama products have a high capacity in this regard. Considering attractive gifts for a project can greatly affect its success. The audience involved in this approach is vast enough to provide sufficient social capital for funding.
In attracting social capital, trust and culture are two key elements. The successful background of the IRIB in drama production is very trustworthy. The precondition for success is legal, and even economic transparency in model implementation, because people's trust and participation in financing projects depend on the transparency of the platform. Also, promoting community thought to turn the positive experience of people's participation in charities into participation in the cultural and media products by IRIB, due to its wide access to the audience.
Prominent results:
The prominent achievement of this research can be described as drawing the capacities and obstacles to using the crowdfunding method in the IRIB to finance drama productions. Given the current situation, IRIB is not able to implement such a method within its structure and it is better to choose the external organizational platform, taking into account the mentioned legal, economic, and cultural considerations.