“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change” (Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard)
It’s a time of challenge, change and renewal within the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). That was the message ABC managing director Mark Scott presented today to a lecture hall of QUT journalism students.
With fragmented media audiences adapting rapidly to new and ever-changing technologies, the ABC has set its mind to the future of broadcasting in order to retain and grow audiences.
“The [industry] winners will be the disruptive, those who refuse to wait for others, who identify the trends in the data and act on them. We want the ABC to be among the winners,” Mr Scott stated.
In his presentation to students, held prior to his Vice-Chancellor’s Forum address, Mr Scott explained the ABC’s need for a “shift from disparate platform strategies to an integrated content strategy”. He said the ABC will have a stronger focus on Australian genres and audiences.
“If you don’t respect that your audience has power, you are going to lose,” he said.
Although the ABC has a positive viewer experience (84 per cent of audiences state they found ABC services valuable and reported fair and accurate news), there still remains the gap of television audiences aged 20-50. Those audiences are shifting to new consumption methods. The ABC has implemented programs to capture these new consumption trends of media users, such as through its iview program.
Adapting to on-demand nature of television viewers, ABC iview has proved successful, with almost 20 million programs delivered a month, capturing an average of 5.3 million views each month.
ABC also took further steps towards the future in 2010, with the launch of ABC News 24, a highly flexible channel that reflects the 24/7 on-demand world in which we now live in. Available on multiple platforms through online streaming or simulcast, ABC News 24 now retains an average viewership of around 3.6 million a week.
Although the ABC has some significant challenges ahead, Mr Scott states that ABC will continue to endeavour to be a forefront in Australian media and maintain the strong relationship ABC has with Australians.
The full text from Mark Scott’s presentation is available online.