How does a public broadcaster navigate media disruption?

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia’s public broadcaster, reaching most of the Australian population through television, radio and online platforms.  But how does a public broadcaster navigate the challenges of media disruption? “The key to the success of the ABC navigating media disruption is being able to evolve with our audiences expectations”, says Cath Dwyer, the ABC’s Acting Head of Distribution speaking at Radiodays Asia 2019. “Platform disruption is nothing new.  Our approach to this disruption has been relentless…you either ride the wave, or let it crash down on top of you.” The ABC has been at the forefront of creating content in new spaces in Australia, offering a range of content via radio (both traditional and DAB+), television, online, and developing the ABC Listen app – Australia’s most downloaded radio app. “The ABC Listen app is a one stop shop for ABC Radio.  You can listen to live radio from any of our channels, or catch up on audio you might have missed”, Dwyer says. The ABC is very aware that’s it’s not simply about what content you’re offering the audience, but how you’re offering it.  That’s why it’s important to make your content available on numerous platforms. “We’re not shy of third party platforms.  The ABC stations are available on iHeart Radio and Tune In, plus we have partnered with Commercial Radio Australia and available via the Australian Radio app”, Dwyer says. But it’s not simply about getting the technology right. “Content drives audience to the ABC, so investing in content development is key to remaining relevant to our audiences”, Dwyer added. “Our challenge is to offer relevant and accessible content.  It’s to reflect the lives of our communities, plus challenge our audiences.  It’s also about offering stories that can sometimes be difficult to watch or listen to” says Dywer. “Strong, relatable and relevant content will keep public broadcasters afloat in turbulent waters.”    

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