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Oz channel boosts digital domain

Changes include creation of ABC Commercial

SYDNEY — Mark Scott, topper of the Australian Broadcasting Corp., has outlined a range of radical measures — including opening the pubcaster’s extensive archive to online delivery — designed to make it a leading digital player.

“Digital media is now integral to everything we do. It is not an add-on, it is not a novelty, it is the present reality as well as the future,” Scott said as he announced the changes. “They reflect the shift of digital and new media from the fringe of our operations 10 years ago to the very center of our television, radio and news and current affairs output today.”

Chief among the changes is the creation of ABC Commercial, which will explore paid downloads. The pubcaster offers downloads for free, but the new division will provide a handy fillip to the government coin.

Other changes include:

  • Integrating the ABC online news division with the news and current affairs team.

  •  Integrating the digital channel ABC2 into the television unit and exploring the launch of more digital channels.

  •  Seeking partnerships to distribute ABC content on other digital platforms.

Looking to calm an institution historically resistant to change, Scott said the strategy will not be dissimilar to the current ABC shops, retail outlets that sell homevid fare.

“Building on the success of our ABC stores with ABC books, music and videos, we are looking to expand our ability to reach the Australian public, through the delivery of our content via a full range of digital services,” he said.

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