Friday, 04 May 2018 09:27

ACCC digital inquiry: ABC sees Google, Facebook and Apple as allies

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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has used its submission to the ACCC's inquiry into digital platforms to project itself as an organisation that can continue to function as it has in the past despite the level of digital disruption.

This outlook can be put down to the fact that the ABC is funded by public money and does not need to compete with other digital platforms, such as Google and Facebook, which many other submissions identified as eating into the profitability of media companies.

The ACCC on Thursday released 57 submissions made to the inquiry. There are now only 56 online as the SBS submission has been pulled and no reason given for it.

In sharp contrast to the submission by News Corporation Australia, which blamed Google, Facebook and Apple, for the difficulties faced by media organisations, the ABC said in its submission that it had partnerships with these three organisations that were helpful.

It outlined these partnerships as below:

  • "Google/YouTube: The ABC is working with Google and YouTube across of range of areas. The most important is content distribution and discoverability.
  • "Facebook: The ABC works with Facebook to distribute our content, increase engagement and improve discoverability.
  • "Apple: The ABC is working with Apple to distribute content (Apple News), help develop and promote our apps (ABC, iview, listen, kids etc), podcasts and music."

The key themes in the ABC's submissions were that disruption to the media landscape had been unprecedented, audiences had moved online and content creators should follow, and the disruption meant increased demand for trustworthy and reliable content.

And in all these aspects, the ABC put itself as the one organisation that met the requirements.

In its conclusion, the ABC said: "Digital platforms have posed various challenges for media content creators. In such a challenging climate, the supply of independent, trustworthy, local news that audiences desire is more important than ever.

"The ABC believes that it is possible to engage with platforms to deliver news of that desired quality, and in a way that fulfils the ABC’s mandate of reaching all Australians."

The ACCC has said it will issue a preliminary report into its findings in December.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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