The Internet wasn’t kind to media. Huge media corporations have managed to transform their businesses, for the most part, but independent media, often playing a vital role in emerging countries, are seriously threatened by the lack of available funds.
IndieVoic.es hopes to change that. Founded by Sasa Vucinic, V Media Ventures CEO and a former Editor-in-Chief of B92 (Serbian media corporation which played important role in the overthrow of Milosevic), the project is essentially a crowdsourcing platform focused on providing necessary funding to independent media in developing countries.
Just like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, IndieVoic.es uses a familiar concept. Media owners can create campaigns and specify the amount of money they need to run their venture. Contributors from all over the world can fund their campaigns in return for valuable prizes (ranging from a postcard to a dinner with former Prime Minister of Thailand).
However, crowdfunding isn’t the only way IndieVoic.es aims to help independent media raise money. By announcing no-interest loans and mini-loans for 2014, the platform will enable its users to choose the best funding option for their media. Think of it as a mix between Kickstarter and Kiva.
“Our goal is not just to fund independent media. We want to engage the audience and democratize the ownership of media. It is the only thing that hasn’t changed about this industry in the past 20 years” stated Vucinic in an interview for Netokracija.
And he should know a thing or two about financing media. Vucinic co-founded Media Development Investment Fund which he ran for over fifteen years. During that time, MDIF has raised 123 million dollars and funded more than 220 independent media projects all over the world.
Much like MDIF, IndieVoic.es supports different media outlets ranging from investigative journalism reports and local radio stations, up to specialized blogs covering various topics of interest. Although anybody can submit a project, only those which are curated and checked will actually be eligible for a campaign. We are ensured that this is necessary to maintain a certain standard of funded media.
Despite all this, IndieVoic.es is not your ordinary crowdfunding platform. Unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo, this service is not looking to cash-in on their revenue any time soon as it is specifically trying to operate as a non-profit.
“Our goal is to break-even beginning 2016. If our revenue is higher than expected, we will definitely lower our initial cost per campaign”, Vucinic added.
Although media isn’t every investor’s cup of tea, “there are those who might find interesting opportunities in specialized media covering a range of interesting subjects”, stated Vucinic. Is IndieVoic.es leading the revolution independent media owners have been waiting for? It sure seems like it.