ABC outlines digital-first approach in five-year plan

David Anderson.

The ABC will undergo a “significant transition” across the next five years as it takes a digital-first approach to commissioning, producing, and distributing content.

In a five-year plan unveiled today, the broadcaster has signalled its intention to become an integrated digital platform by 2028, part of which involves producing more made-for-digital content for ABC iview and ABC listen, as well as major third-party platforms.

The strategy is built on four pillars – prioritising the trust of audiences, being able to reflect contemporary Australia, delivering compelling content that builds a lifelong relationship with Australians, and making sustainable choices in allocating resources.

They incorporate a range of strategic priorities, including consolidating and rebranding some broadcast services as more audiences move to digital platforms; a focus on ensuring that younger adult audiences, in particular, are aware of ABC content made for them; an enhanced local presence in communities; seeking co-production partnerships with a wider range of providers; updating its production infrastructure and integrating new technology, such as AI; and reducing the impact of ABC operations on the environment.

The broadcaster has also reaffirmed its commitment to a culture of inclusion and diversity, amid criticism following the departure of Q&A host Stan Grant, who stood down from his position last month after being subject to racial abuse.

ABC managing director David Anderson said the strategy was designed to meet changing audience needs while maintaining quality, relevance, and independence.

“By 2028, the ABC will serve more Australians on the platform of their choice with made-for-digital content and journalism on ABC News, ABC iview, ABC listen, and on major third-party platforms,” he said.

“Australians trust and value the ABC and this will not change. As we move through this period of digital evolution, Australians can continue to rely on us for the content and services that inform, educate and entertain.

“Our audiences can be assured we will safeguard traditional broadcast services as long as these remain essential for keeping Australians informed and entertained.

“As Australia changes, so must the ABC. This means changing to meet the needs of our audiences wherever they live. We will continue to serve all Australians, contribute to our national identity, and remain an essential part of daily life.”

Find the full five-year plan here.