Guardian’s experiment with open source data has proven one thing quite clear that Public data is a growth media for an ecosystem to form. Public data on open source is a nutrient of a whole new eco-system and allow new things to happen. The key to monetization of the open systems in this case is building user centric apps which have a business model.
The applications build on the Guardian Open source platform is divided into three categories mainly differentiated by span of Guardian’s control and the revenue/revenue share model.
So then where is the money?
Guardian’s open platform gives API and Content Developers 3 tiers of access and 3 separate revenue models to choose from:
BESPOKE: Taking, Reformatting, and content augmentation with same access as that of Guardian. Allows custom access for licensing content and integrating rich applications. The revenue is a combination of sponsorship, media, fees, revenue share and downloads.
APPROVED: This involves taking the full Guardian article content, with an advert. Out of this Guardian keeps the ad revenue and the API developer keeps the rest of the page revenue.
KEYLESS: The API developer takes Guardian’s content and keeps part of the associated revenues. Thus there is free access to headlines,data,tags and meta data. There is no key required and partner keeps associated revenue from the page.
What this means for Guardian is that developers are able to access full content APIs on demand from Guardian with keys approved thus making the platform a place to do business with Guardian and engage its scale. Rapid scalability, reliability and performance are the core requirements.
To assist the developers, Guardian has the Microapps which is a third framework for integrating 3rd party apps into the Guardian platform. The Microapps helps developers integrate their solutions more easily and readily into the Guardian core and evolve the Guardian open platform to be the commercial future of the partners/developers.
Thus the open source platform would be instrumental for Guardian in terms of
• Moving away from content broadcast, and yet keep the growth engines running
• Partner engagement and open source contributions on journalism, data, software, applications, revenue and ads
• It would also support the developers and partners with data and APIs, scalability, reliability and speed.
Guardians enterprising effort build on open source is pretty much on its way to re-define media and thought behind media.
In times to come, media will need to evolve into a two way communication path and Guardian will be referred as a case study, as a pioneer of new media.