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New money for digital content

Media release

NZ On Air

12 December 2007

New money for digital content

NZ On Air today announced the creation of a new contestable fund, the Digital Content Partnership Fund. The fund will support programmes involving the use of new media and is part of NZ On Air's new digital strategy as it prepares for changes to the Broadcasting Act.

The fund will exist for four years, with $1million set aside each year and submissions sought annually. The first application deadline is in March 2008.

Chief executive Jane Wrightson says the fund is a great opportunity for fresh collaboration across broadcasting and new media and is aimed at providing audiences with new experiences.

The preference for the first year is for projects targeting New Zealand children or youth. "This audience is, of course, the most digital-savvy," said Ms Wrightson. "It's important they have the opportunity to connect with local content on all the platforms they use," she said.

Amendments to the Broadcasting Act are intended to allow funding of online and other digital content. The Act currently requires a 'broadcast outcome', says Ms Wrightson. This means that successful projects for the first year's allocation, at least, must still air on a New Zealand television or radio station. But the fund will also allow reversioning and streaming on online and mobile platforms. A nationwide networked or syndicated outcome is desirable so as many people as possible can access it.

The content must be available free to the audience on at least one platform, but some form of subscription or cost-recovery on another may also be permitted.

Funds may be applied to one or more projects. A minimum total of 10 funded hours is expected – and more is better, says Ms Wrightson. "We've kept the criteria very broad to encourage the most innovative ideas to surface," she said.


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