ABC Radio’s plans to monetise

In a memo to staff, outlining ABC Radio’s strategy in its march toward 2020, point number 5 was entitled “Enterprise.”

It wasn’t quite a Picardesque mission statement, “To boldly go where no public broadcaster has gone before.” But it did allude to the fact that Aunty would be out to make a quid where it could.

In his manifesto, Head of ABC Radio, Michael Mason (pictured) declared: Like our colleagues across the ABC, we want to take advantage of reasonable opportunities to monetise and offset the cost of our activities and to extend the offering to the widest audience possible. We want to explore business-to-business opportunities, including production partnerships, and how we might use our genre expertise to tap into the growing events market.

The ABC, of course, has a long history of success in commercial ventures such as ABC shops. Specifically for Radio, Mr Mason says, “We’ve had a lot of success with commercial CD releases like the Hottest 100 or triple j’s Like a Version that immediately, the day it’s released ‘goes bang’ straight to number one! It’s the same with classic FM. And we really want to explore whether there are more opportunities with the commercial release space in music and CD books and music.”

However, Mr Mason is not so bullish about monetising the digital space, “I think, for radio as an industry, there’s not a lot of money in that anyhow, at this point,” he says.

What he is more interested in is finding production partners, “The focus is how we work with industry partnerships. How we work with our sporting bodies? What sort of stronger collaborative relationships can we have? Are there better collaborations that we can do around cost sharing and co-production with partners?”

In any event, any revenue raised will go straight back into content says Mr Mason. “All those profits go straight back into programming which allows us to do a range of things that we may not otherwise be able to do.”

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