The stations will be streamed live via mobile and online by March 2018.
Through an additional $1 million investment in local communities, from mid-March 2018, the following 19 communities will be able to tune in live to a local ABC station:
Wollongong Bega Rockhampton Mount Gambier
Lismore Coffs Harbour Mackay Port Lincoln
Wagga Wagga Maroochydore Albany Renmark
Orange Bundaberg Geraldton Shepparton
Tamworth Townsville Esperance
The Director of ABC Regional, Fiona Reynolds, said adding 19 live audio streaming services to the existing 23 regional streams ‘highlights the ABC’s commitment to making news and information available to more Australians in more ways.’
“Earlier this year, the ABC announced its largest single investment in rural and regional Australia, with an additional $15.4 million each year in ongoing funding to recruit up to 80 new content makers focussed on regional storytelling.
“Another $4 million is being spent on tools and equipment, and now an extra $1 million has been committed to expand live audio streaming services,” she said.
The Director of ABC Radio, Michael Mason, said the broadcaster has been adding live audio streams over the past two years, saying “Regional Australians rely on the ABC not only for news, entertainment, and in times of emergency, but as a source of companionship as they often have to travel long distances for work and to see family and friends.
“This is reflected in our audience reach and engagement figures which indicate that over the past 12 months, regional audio streams have been listened to 2.24 million times. We have also had a 25.2% increase in audience reach over the last 6 months, compared with the previous 6 months – so there is clearly a demand for more live audio streaming services.”