NZ On Air responds to changing audiences with change

Posted Monday 26 Sep 2016

NZ On Air announced last that week that it is moving to a single funding strategy for all content investments, in order to remain flexible and relevant in a fast-changing, converging media environment.

The funding agency intends to create a single fund, the NZ Media Fund, to replace its multiple funds and strategies that have begun to overlap

Founded on core public media principles the strategy focusses on delivering quality and diversity, and ensuring content investments can be discovered and appreciated by target audiences.The NZ Media Fund has four streams; Factual, Scripted, Music, and Platforms.

The new Fund is open to a broader range of platforms but, in the face of high demand, the bar has been raised. Funding will be determined by, among other things, cultural or social value, innovation, potential audience size and appeal,  and co-investment from the commissioning platform so production costs are shared.

"At our core we are still about backing the best ideas, and providing content free to New Zealanders. But how we deliver this must be flexible enough  to recognise a volatile media environment, and changing audience behaviour," said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

In addition to the changes at a strategic level, the agency will restructure to create more efficient and streamlined staff processes, and will upgrade to a fully online applications system.

"Our own audience research confirms there are  fast and significant audience shifts taking place. NZ On Air will remain a passionate advocate for our own stories and songs in a tough environment where local content must foot it with the world's best. These changes will encourage new ideas and new opportunities," said Ms Wrightson.

"With intense competition for audiences from international media it is more important than ever that NZ On Air is able to maintain a space for local content. It's vital to our cultural identity."

The funding agency is seeking  feedback on the new strategy.

The draft Funding Strategy document and Q and A's are here.

Feedback can be provided until 18 November.

The final strategy will be  released by early 2017 to take effect from July 2017.