5 million pages of content and counting

“Be where your audiences are before they get there.”

That direct quote came from Michael Ebeid, Director Corporate Strategy and Marketing at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, during the lunch presentation here at Marketing Week 2009.

A powerful, simple strategy that, I have no doubt, resonated strongly with nearly everyone in the room. How did the ABC execute such a strategy to deliver on their vision of wanting to enrich the lives of Australians?

The Internet has topped 650m users worldwide and is fast becoming the medium of choice for the consumption of trusted information, usurping both TV and Radio for the second straight year in Australia. It is also frequented more regularly for opinions and news than any other media.

Recognising these trends, the ABC launched efforts to find out where their audiences were going to consume media, then they went there.

Here is a sampling of some of their successful initiatives:

– They created YouTube channels and MySpace and Facebook profiles for their popular TV show characters to interact and engage with their audiences (and find new ones).

– They used Twitter to break news stories and update communities on the Victorian bushfires in conjunction with their radio broadcasts.

– They launched iView with full clips of their top TV programs so users could choose what they wanted to watch, when they wanted to watch it.

– Over 23m radio show podcasts have been downloaded since they became available and over 650,000 people have downloaded the ABC iPhone application (about 1 in 4 Aussie iPhone owners).

– As part of their editorial policies, the ABC have now included a ‘user-generated content’ section, outlining values and standards by which people can contribute and share with the ABC and their networks.

So what’s next on the bubble for the ABC? They will be launching new digital channels (ABC3 for 6-15 yr old audience and ABC4 which will be 24×7 news) and find more ways to tell great Australians stories to, you guessed it, enrich the lives of Australians.

At the risk of using a cliché, it’s all very forward thinking stuff. It’s an attitude and approach that says ‘with you, not at you’ when engaging with audiences.

As an avid iView user, I have a newfound respect for the innovators at the ABC and I am looking forward to the new series of The Gruen Transfer soon!

Don’t forget, casual reader, that you can follow Marketing Week 2009 on Twitter: #marketingweek


Rob Frost

P.S. In the interests of full disclosure, I am currently interning at Via Media, Adelaide’s Digital Marketing specialists. Via Media is a major sponsor of Marketing Week 2009. The views and opinions expressed in this post may not be fully represented by Via Media.


4 Responses to “5 million pages of content and counting”

  1. Walter Adamson Says:

    All social media initiatives need to be where the “audience” is. Well done Aunty. But have you ever tried to get them to answer an email? Try Asia Pacific focus they are all lost in space!!


  2. neerav Says:

    I wish the ABC would launch ABC4 24×7 news but this is unlikely anytime soon as they received no funding for it in the latest round of 3yr funding from the federal government

  3. Digital insights and Aunty’s new bag: Marketing Week in review | Mal's Blog Says:

    […] The ABC New Media Story […]

  4. Michael Ebeid Says:

    Hi Rob,
    Glad you enjoyed the talk I gave last week.
    Just thought I would correct two things in your blog.
    I mentioned that we have had about 170,000 ABC iPhone aps downloaded. the 650,000 is roughly the number of iPhones in Australia currently.
    Secondly, we have had 23m podcasts downloaded in the first 6 months of 2009. We might have about 50m by the end of the year.
    Thanks for your interest in the ABC!


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