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Big uplift in demand for funded public media

28 November 2018

A fundamental change more than a year ago has resulted in much more diverse public media and a 50% increase in the number of funding applications NZ On Air has received in the first year of its platform-neutral funding strategy.

In its Annual Report for the 2017/18 year, just tabled in Parliament, NZ On Air reports on the first year of operation of the new NZ Media Fund, which aims to support great NZ content that is valued and enjoyed by many New Zealand audiences.

In a fast-changing media environment, that means keeping pace with where audiences are, and ensuring there’s a wide array of options for them to enjoy on a wider range of platforms.
In the 2018/19 year the new strategy resulted in over 90,000 minutes of screen content available on 34 different platforms, 25,772 hours of content in 51 languages on community access radio, and local music experiencing a resurgence on commercial radio for the first time in several years – hitting 18% of songs played in the first half of 2018.

Other highlights of the year have been:

• Funded content dominating the winners lists at the NZ TV Awards

• The successful launch of the new children’s platform HEIHEI, which at year end had amassed 30,000 app downloads and over 200,000 video streams

• Strong audiences for funded content on mainstream TV and On Demand – the Top 15 funded programmes on TV attracted audiences over 250,000 and the top On Demand content over 129,000 streams

• A strong response from the production sector to a call for stories to mark Suffrage 125, creating 11 distinct projects from a $2m investment

• The launch of a new Scripted roadmap to drive a strategic change to investment in drama and comedy

• A successful trial of an independent production house making award-winning funded multi-media content for RNZ

• 237 music singles released – with the top song hitting over 11m streams on Spotify before year end.

“The NZ Media Fund was the right intervention at the right time. While still serving large mainstream audiences, we have been able to find and connect different audiences with quality content across a spectrum of online platforms,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“It is tempting at year end to simply count the volume of output, the awards and the audiences reached, but it is also important to acknowledge how much richer we are as a country for having quality, authentic public media. It is vital to a sense of belonging. Seeing ourselves reflected in media, experiencing inspiring and challenging New Zealand content, enriches our culture and sense of connection,” Ms Wrightson continued.”

NZ On Air’s Annual Report 2018 can be enjoyed as an online interactive experience or as a PDF.


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