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NZ On Air steers a calm course

Against a backdrop of rapid media change and a flood of international content NZ On Air’s report to Parliament on its achievements in the 2015/16 year shows ongoing commitment to getting local content to New Zealand audiences.

The public media funding agency’s Annual Report 2016 highlights the importance of a bastion for local content amid a growing tide of international options, and the challenges of reaching fragmenting audiences.

In the 2015/16 year NZ On Air invested $128 million in new local content including:

  • 897 hours of new television content, including 104 hours of drama and comedy
  • $14 million in children’s television programmes
  • 228 songs and videos by local musicians to promote NZ music
  • 3,369 programme hours on access radio in 42 minority languages
  • $4.45 million in online-only content, attracting millions of views
  • $400k more on captioning and audio description services

The remainder of NZ On Air’s budget supports Radio New Zealand, and other important platforms ranging from Pacific and access radio to online content discovery sites.

“We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve together with media partners and content creators in a volatile environment. Competition is tough and costs are rising, yet creativity and innovation has never been stronger,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

In the 2015/16 year a number of changes were made to keep pace with shifting audiences, including a new approach to funding regional news and information content, two new music funding schemes replacing Making Tracks, and a call for proposals to create an online home for local children’s content.

The most significant stream of work has been developing a radical new funding strategy and single contestable fund (NZ Media Fund). A response to changing audience behaviour, the strategy will improve opportunities to reach more diverse audiences with local cultural content. The new strategy will be implemented from July 1 2017.

The interactive online Annual Report 2016 is available here, including downloads.

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