Who Uses the MVA?

The MVA is for media outlets, funders, investors, technologists, researchers, and more. We’ve listened to the needs of platform users and described a few characters* we think are typical of MVA users.

Illustration of a man

Pavel: Understanding Audiences for Digital News

Pavel started out when the News Observer was only in print, but now his editorial team publishes on a website and via social media accounts. They’ve started a weekly podcast and are hearing that newsletters and video are important ways to reach audiences too…
There’s excitement in the newsroom about all these methods—News Observer journalists are driven and committed to their work—but there’s only 24 hours in a day, no budget to hire more people, and somehow Pavel needs to prioritize. He believes in the adage “know your audience” but the analytics tools he’s used so far—website clicks, podcast downloads, and social media shares—lack context. Are the News Observer’s traffic numbers normal, higher, or lower than other outlets? Will audiences sign up for newsletters or watch videos? What if advertising is attached? Using the MVA provides Pavel with the insights he needs to understand audience behavior and what’s likely to work best. By seeing not just their own data but the anonymized data of peer outlets, the News Observer team can see how they stack up and what’s worked for others. Pavel found out that in advertising and audience markets like his, newsletters really boost engagement, while podcasts reach very few people, leading him to re-orient his team’s efforts toward a newsletter. And, on the MVA Marketplace, he found a playbook full of tips to help outlets start newsletters, and a media support non-profit offering training. The MVA gives Pavel the insights needed to make informed decisions and the tools to implement new initiatives.
Illustration of a woman

Ann: Using Evidence to Support Independent Media

Ann works for a non-profit with a mission to support independent media, recognizing the importance of a healthy media ecosystem to democracy and human rights. She works hard to make the organization’s media partners sustainable and resilient…
It’s important work, but an increasingly uphill struggle. Strategies that work in one region don’t work in others, and the challenges media face—from market forces to government overreach to outdated business models—seem to multiply and shift more rapidly than her programs can address. Ann uses the MVA to analyze how media perform in different environments, and the factors that seem to set successful partners apart from others. With data, she can push back on project designs that too often rely on gut feelings or models that worked in the past. The MVA also provides a way to set benchmarks and evaluation methods in partnership with the organization’s grantees and partners. With everyone on a level playing field, seeing the same data, she’s able to bring more transparency to the process. She can even provide open calls and funding opportunities right on the MVA platform, to deliver quick assistance to partners with evolving needs. The MVA helps Ann provide meaningful, timely, and targeted support to independent media.
Illustration of a woman

May: Seeking Sustainability with Journalism Under Attack

It’s clear to May and the journalists in her newsroom that democracy is on unstable ground at home. Rapid change has been the constant since the last election, and they’ve covered it all with unwavering dedication: attacks against opposition leaders; rigged court sentences issued to human rights activists; fines imposed on fellow reporters for covering corruption.
May knows many of her reporters will bravely keep going despite threats to their own safety. But it keeps her up at night, as does the thought that even more drastic changes could make it impossible to operate a news outlet at all. Will subscribers abandon an outlet targeted by state propaganda? What will happen if the government tells business not to advertise in independent media? What if they shut off the Internet, or push through new licensing restrictions? May hasn’t worked in this kind of environment before, but she knows others have. Using the MVA, she can see which business models work in countries where civic space is closed or closing. She can see what peers in these places prioritize and what they cut. Information from the MVA gives May a “plan B” for operations. May also uses the MVA for support. The MVA Solutions marketplace has opportunities from donors and media support organizations that are invested in the success of outlets just like May’s, and that have deep experience in helping media navigate backsliding democracies. The MVA gives May the data and back-up she needs to keep going, while her journalists continue to provide the information her county desperately needs. she needs to keep going, while her journalists continue to provide the information her county desperately needs.
Illustration of a man

Luis: Connecting Media with Tools & Technology

Luis got into technology to create tools that solve problems. His company’s software helps media outlets understand their audiences’ behavior, and it has been successful. But Luis knows far  more media outlets could become more financially viable by using this technology.
The software may need customization for different markets, and he questions whether he has enough understanding of user needs in all the places he thinks the software could be of service. Sharing his technology in the MVA marketplace opens it up to a global audience of ready users. Luis gains more clients and a wealth of media performance data he can use to refine his own technology. He can also see what other tools and technologies are on offer and what seems to be needed by MVA users. This gives him insights into future product development. When he’s ready to pilot new approaches, he can offer trials and testing arrangements that benefit end users and his development process. The MVA helps Luis find new customers and make products that help media outlets strengthen their finances.

*Individual and organization names are fictional. Illustrations created by Internews.