Jul 202006

Business Planning for New Media © Rachel Dixon 2006.

The first of 8 podcasts recorded live and unedited during the LAMP lab on Milson Island, Sydney in July 2006 – in front of the eight teams and ten mentors developing emerging media projects.

rachel dixon“If you rely on government funding for your projects, marry someone rich, because you haven’t got a career, what you’ve got is a series of accidents”.

Rachel delivers many wise words about business practises and exploitation for new media projects with a focus on Australian Media referring to the Digital Content Industry Action Agenda – “…not what the government can do…what industry can do for itself…we have got a lot of cottage industries, and a lot of really good ideas and it is really hard to find money for those ideas”.

She talks in length about how to turn projects and ideas into real and sustainable businesses – by looking at a multitude of business aspects including investment opportunities, tax concessions, working for fees, having real value in the online element, co-productions, budgets, partnerships, subscription models, advertising, membership and sponsorship.

Rachel also talks about the development of the brand and the importance of being higher up the aggregation chain, controlling the portal rather than individual elements of content. In terms of getting investment you have to prove that your online element is ‘sticky’ and will grow traffic and members. She says you have to be prepared to be in for the long haul if you want to initiate a membership model and cites Habbo Hotel and other MMORPGs that have critical elements of personalisation and customisation of your virtual space. Making payments, particularly micro ones, easy for the user is also a way to drive revenues and suggests that many online businesses fail because they put too many hurdles in the way of making payments.

She moves on to cover many of the legal issues surrounding the IP in your project and how to make sure you have sustainability by really owning the idea/format, you have limited liability and also how most of this depends on the fact that you have assignments – which will generate residual IP. A new development in emerging media, particularly contribution services such as YouTube is the EULA (End User License Agreement) and how this both protects your idea but also the service provider rights to submitted content.

Finally Rachel talks about the international perspective, how to manage your format or idea in overseas markets and how to be realistic about your budget if the millions of markets of hundreds are very tightly niche’d. After all this if you get an investor be prepared to give away up to 49% plus and pay attention to the mix of partners in case of shift in allegiances.

All LAMP podcasts are also published through the iTunes store.


In addition to a career as an award-winning filmmaker, Rachel has been a developer, publisher and marketer of interactive media since 1993. In July 2004 Rachel joined Massive as General Manager. The company’s multi-award winning work extends across Web and Internet development, intranets, broadband, interactive television, wireless content, DVD, and advertising, film and television. Rachel is also a director of Handshake Media Pty Ltd, one arm of which is a consultancy advising on strategic development and marketing in new media, I.T. and telecommunications.

In 2004 Rachel was appointed to the Strategic Industry Leaders Group of the Commonwealth Government’s Digital Content Industry Action Agenda. She currently chairs the export subcommittee of the Group. Rachel is a director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications (ac3). She is also on the National Executive of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA). Rachel was a founding director of FIBRE Pty Ltd, a telecommunications company servicing the film, television, interactive media and games industries. Rachel is a past director of several other government and private sector multimedia organisations, and has worked as a senior executive in interactive media and film finance for several government bodies.

Sydney 5 July 2006 – Time 47:34. PDF (116k) of presentation
Click to listen

Audio edit, description and mp3 prep/post  – G Hayes

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