ABC announces next steps in digital transition – The ABC has announced a range of savings measures and reinvestment initiatives designed to address rising costs and support its transition to a digital-first media organisation.
This follows the release last week of the ABC Five-Year Plan 2023-2028 which sets out how the ABC will respond to rapid changes in technology, audience behaviour and society to continue to deliver value for all Australians and remain the most trusted media organisation in the country.
ABC Managing Director David Anderson said the recent content team reorganisation and the release of the new strategy required carefully made decisions on reinvestment and savings to strengthen the ABC into the future.
“Along with media organisations here and overseas, the ABC is operating in an environment that is subject to inflationary pressures,” Mr Anderson said. “We also need to increase investment in digital transformation to improve our efficiency and meet the needs of audiences.
“We have made clear our vision for the ABC to be an essential part of everyday life for all Australians through our high-quality journalism and content, wherever they may live across the country.
“The continued migration of audiences from broadcast services to digital provides an opportunity to ensure the ABC is a trusted, central part of daily media consumption for more Australians.
“By 2028 the majority of audience engagement will be on the ABC’s digital platforms and we will have a digital-first approach to commissioning, producing, and distributing content. We will enhance our primary digital products, ABC iview, ABC listen and ABC News, to provide personalised services that enable audiences to more easily discover the journalism and content that is relevant to them.
“To make the most of that opportunity, we must better align our resources and invest in the new skills we need in our workforce we can’t create through retraining.
“Achieving these outcomes requires some difficult decisions. While we have targets for savings in support areas, including travel and consulting costs, unfortunately there is an unavoidable impact on some roles.
“These changes are important to secure the long-term success of the organisation, but we acknowledge it is never easy, particularly for individuals who are directly impacted by these proposals.”
Mr Anderson said the proposed changes announced today included the creation of new roles to grow the ABC’s digital capability.
It is anticipated up to 120 employees will potentially leave the ABC.
The proposed changes include:
- The launch of the Current Affairs Digital Transformation Project to ensure some of the ABC’s best investigative programs have the capability to meet audience demand for long-form on-demand video and in-depth digital content.
- Continuing the shift in the News Operations team from linear television programming to on-demand digital content and modernising the ABC’s skills base.
- The introduction of ABC News Sunday, a new national bulletin bringing the best stories and journalism from around Australia and the world.
- The return of a digital-first Stateline, unpacking the local stories that matter through long form journalism, in-depth interviews and explainers for on-demand and broadcast audiences.
- The establishment of a dedicated Climate, Environment and Energy reporting team to focus on the issues that are consistently rated as critical for the nation’s future, particularly by younger Australians.
- Streamlining our commissioning editor structure by reducing the number of ABC executives involved in the commissioning and production process with the independent sector, freeing up funds for investment in high-quality distinctive Australian content.
- A digital-first approach to commissioning and choosing content, with a focus on the audience from the earliest development stage.
- Enhancing the ABC iview, ABC News and ABC listen audience experience to drive faster uptake to these platforms.
- Promoting our digital output with new roles established in our digital teams.
“I want to recognise the contribution everyone at the ABC has made in recent years,”
– Mr Anderson said
“The ABC has evolved and adapted for over 90 years to ensure it remains Australia’s most trusted media organisation, valued by audiences everywhere, and value for money for the essential services it delivers.
“Increasingly, Australians are primarily using digital media services, and the ABC’s ongoing value and relevance will depend on our ability to change with the audience.
“In an era of rapid technological change, today’s announcements will ensure we continue to remain trusted, relevant and valued by all Australians into the future.”
Media Release – ABC
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