With the re-launch of VOA Direct, the BBG has taken another step forward in establishing stronger relationships with its global affiliate partners by developing a flexible, scalable service that can meet the evolving needs of an international audience.
The VOA Direct service is a B2B product that delivers high quality audio and video content to a network of registered affiliate partners around the world for redistribution into local television, radio and digital marketplaces.
The new version of the site takes a simplified approach to this service by providing a streamlined user interface that allows easier browsing and discovery of relevant programming based on an affiliate’s target language market.
The new site also features an improved search engine for finding recent and archive content. This makes it possible for affiliates to select the right story to match with their local programming and provide seamless experiences for local audiences that incorporate VOA programming.
Registered affiliates now have the ability to download audio and video content directly from the site. Previous versions of VOA Direct featured a complicated ordering process that often resulted in long wait periods before affiliates received notification content they had selected was available to download. With the new registration and login process, content is downloadable immediately and detailed records are maintained that show VOA content producers the topic areas and program formats most frequently selected by affiliates in each market.
These new reporting services will allow VOA producers to make even more informed decisions about the types of programming offered in each market and offer a higher quality of service to the affiliates. This will allow for greater audience impact and engagement in the future as VOA continued to grow its presence in local markets around the world.
The future of VOA Direct however is to evolve to include content from all entities within the BBG. The rich combination of high quality audio and video content from all services will strengthen the mission of the BBG helping to reach new audiences by maintaining a high level of engagement with regional affiliate publishers and local audiences of listeners and viewers.
As VOA Direct moves toward a future that includes all of US International Media, the focus of the service will be to develop beyond a web site to an API-driven service that allows affiliate partners to use content from across the BBG in new ways.
While an API service provides more opportunities for distribution, developing tools that allow affiliates to develop their own networks is key to the future success of the BBG’s mission.
Radio and television will continue to be integral in many markets but additional publishing opportunities through affiliate partner web sites, blogs, social networks, mobile applications and distribution to emerging connected devices will all present opportunities for BBG entities to reach new audiences.
The launch of the new VOA Direct is only the beginning of a strategic emphasis on strengthening relationships and delivering content at the international, regional level. As the new VOA Direct matures and more is learned about our affiliates, we will continue to develop product features to meet the diverse needs of our affiliates and providing high quality, well-crafted news, information and cultural programming from the BBG entity services to their audiences.
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