Australian Media Industry

The Australian Media Industry

According to a 2017 report by PwC (‘Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook’), the Australian media and entertainment industry will maintain an average growth rate of 2.1 percent in the near future and reach a value of 43.7 billion US dollars by 2025.

For clients and advertisers, the competitive environment of the Australian media industry makes it attractive to expand their advertising budgets. Media outlets rely on advertising revenue to fund their operations and maintain a strong foundation, as well as providing revenue growth opportunities to expand and improve their standing in the industry. While media companies are continually examining their advertising models to determine which strategies yield the highest return for the investment, the following discussion highlights several ways that companies boost their marketing budgets.

The Australian Media Industry includes a range of private media companies, as well as free-to-air channels owned by state-owned media companies, and numerous small businesses. Private media companies include smaller commercial television stations, radio stations, and internet businesses. While these privately owned outlets operate in different countries around the world, nearly all operate in Australia. In addition, free-to-air television stations that broadcast in Australia are commonly supported by state-owned production studios.

The Australian media industry’s competitive edge can be seen in the country’s national advertising policy. The country’s free-to-air broadcasting policy is designed to provide a “level playing field” for media companies to compete against each other for advertising revenues. As a result, most media companies have agreed to a diversity of media content, regionalisation, and localisation. This policy has also led to a significant increase in the reach of digital media outlets and increased online penetration. These outlets include online newspapers, internet intermediaries such as article directories and blogs, as well as traditional media companies like radio stations, television channels, and publishing houses.

Another major characteristic of media in Australia is its focus on the creation of original, compelling content. A strong focus on new ideas and reporting helps to build the reputation of the media company as an expert in their field. While many companies will invest time and resources into hiring skilled writers, most small and medium-sized media companies will lack the budget to hire top-quality writers. However, the abundance of current and experienced authors makes it possible for even small-staffed media companies to publish well-researched content that is relevant to the Australian audience.

In addition to an extensive range of content, the Australian media industry is focused on the effective and efficient distribution. In order to ensure that their audiences are able to quickly consume news content, media outlets must ensure that their digital platforms are delivering content in a format that can be accessed easily and that the distribution methods used are highly effective. For example, while traditional television advertisement slots are often very expensive and ineffective, digital platforms allow the television network to allocate advertising slot to local content. In turn, this local content ensures that viewers in a particular region are aware of current news stories and that they are also likely to share the content with others.

Digital Platforms & Syndication

The Australian media industry is also well-versed in the use of the digital platforms that can allow for the quick syndication of content across the various media platforms. The most common method of content syndication is through social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. By using these sites to publish content, business owners are better positioned to engage with their target audience. This means that the Australian media industry has leveraged their position as one of the most digitally active media organisations in the world.

Media and Entertainment

As globalisation is taking its toll on Australian media and entertainment, more industries are looking to their offshore regional base. However, the nation’s cultural diversity is also a strong consideration. Media and entertainment in Australia, much like in other countries, is largely driven by an individual vision of what Australia should be. While some industries may be dictated by globalisation trends, others are being driven by the individual creativity of its producers. While there are similarities in the ways that different industries operate, there are also striking differences. And in both cases, a strong sense of national identity and a strong commitment to protecting its cultural base will help promote the Australian way of doing business.

Media and Entertainment Australia, which are the country’s biggest industry body, has noted a steady growth over the past few years. However, this growth is outpacing other industries and is lagging behind in terms of growth and influence in national and global markets. In the year 2021, it is estimated that the media and entertainment sector will continue to expand at a rapid rate. And in the meantime, the expansion of other industries including information technology and pharmaceuticals is expected to outpace the growth of the media and entertainment industry.

The Competition

Media and Entertainment in Australia, like many of its regional counterparts, are highly fragmented. There are numerous regional news agencies and television stations, which compete for advertising dollars with a number of national and international mass media companies. While most media companies have large newsrooms, they often own and operate small, regional operations. This has led to the concentration of media ownership and control in areas such as Sydney, where the major media companies have significant influence, and Melbourne, where the majority of radio and television outlets are based.

The Media Sector

The media sector in Australia is also thriving. The most notable industry here is the television and radio broadcasting sector. Media companies in Australia such as Fairfax Media, contribute a substantial amount to Australia’s revenue. Despite this, the market continues to contract somewhat in favour of Internet advertising. As a result, the budget for marketing has also decreased in recent years. However, businesses can take advantage of this change in focus as well as improved product delivery.

News Media Bargaining Code

Originating in April 2020 when the Australian government asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (ACCC) to start developing it.

In response, Facebook banned Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on its platform on February 18, 2021

The News Media Bargaining Code or (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) is a framework for commercial trade media agreements between individuals or companies that work in the public good and media organisations. It sets out criteria and requirements for organisations to meet before granting media deals, which helps to ensure that there is a level of professionalism and integrity when dealing with the media. Such agreements could cover all mediums from print media to television, but the current code also applies to the print, broadcast and online media industries.

Part of the reason that the code has been established by the government is to ensure that Australia remains a vibrant and free market for businesses, while ensuring that the media companies have public accountability and regulation.

Media Ownership In Australia

Control of media ownership in Australia is set out in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, which is administered by the ACMA. Despite the laws in force, Australia has a high concentration of media ownership compared to other western countries. Ownership of the national and newspapers of each capital is dominated by two companies, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Murdoch’s own titles make up almost two thirds (64.2 percent) of the city’s circulation and Nine’s own newspapers make up a further quarter (26.4 percent).

Media Production in Australia

Media Production in Australia is focused on issues that are local to Australia – such as housing affordability, family violence, indigenous culture and identity, immigration and multiculturalism. The innovative thinking and skills of producers working in this field to produce a powerful visual representation that can be used in delivering messages that influence and engage communities and individuals. As a result, many positive social outcomes can be identified. These include building community capacity through the production of quality video, increasing media literacy and promoting communication across communities, and the establishment of links between communities and government and businesses through the production of quality images.

Cultural analysis techniques are characteristic of most of the reporting of indigenous media production in Australia and have also enabled the greater voices of some Indigenous people to be heard in mainstream Australian conversation. Yet, these methods have usually been concerned with the economic welfare of indigenous communities with few, if any, exceptions, with the exclusion of mainstream perspectives. This has led to a limited understanding of the complex nature of the public spheres in which Indigenous people operate. Most of these spheres of influence are deeply embedded in traditional values and practices and remain invisible to mainstream audiences. Therefore, little has been done to ensure the creation of a more responsive and inclusive public sphere, one that is capable of dealing with, and reacting to, issues of change and challenge.

As one of the many multicultural nations of the world, Australia has a rich and varied indigenous history that includes many different types of media production. A large number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the remote areas of Australia have relied on traditional media for their communication and as a means of social expression. Unfortunately, over the past century many such traditional media have been destroyed. This decline has led to a lack of knowledge about the impact of this destruction on Australian society and Indigenous peoples, which has generated a significant amount of confusion regarding media and its representation.

Cultural Diversity and Media

Cultural diversity is also a major component of media production in Australia. Several films and documentaries about the history, identity and lifestyle of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have been produced in recent times. In addition to these, television programs and video films with an overwhelmingly Indigenous character have become increasingly popular. The increasing interest in Indigenous stories is indicative of two major factors: the recognition of a wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural diversity and an emerging interest in media production about the impact of contact with European colonisers upon indigenous peoples. These factors have created a need for increased awareness and understanding about the representations of Indigenous media and how this representation shapes societal views and practices.

The Australian Film Industry

The film industry in Australia is flourishing at a steady pace, thanks to the availability of local and international co-producers, a more hospitable attitude to investors, a greater focus on family-friendly franchises and the establishment of tax incentives for local producers. The influx of foreign capital into the Australian film industry has led to increased levels of investment in local content, an increase in regional and global talent and a resultant boost in the production values of Australian films. The demand for local content is not only driven by an interest in the Australian story, but also by the fact that the audience will most often prefer to see Australian films as opposed to multi-cultural films that may feature characters who hail from a variety of countries. The increased competition in the field has also been a factor behind the growth of the film industry in Australia, with more producers turning to international markets for their movie ideas.

Interesting Australian Media Industry Facts

  • New South Wales and Victoria were introduced to television in 1956, with the other states and territories following suit until 1971 (the Northern Territory). Colour television was introduced in 1975

  • Free to air digital broadcasting began on January 1, 2001. Originally, analogue broadcasting was supposed to be phased out by 2008, but analogue phasing-out was only achieved in 2013.

  • In 2007, with Helen Coonan as the communications minister, there were two significant changes. Foreign ownership limits were lifted, government changed cross-media ownership rules to allow ownership of two out of three media types

  • About 25% of Australian households had access to pay TV services at the end of 2005. The main provider is Foxtel in metropolitan, regional and rural areas offering almost all Australian channels via cable and satellite TV in capital cities , and mostly the same channels are offered by Foxtel via satellite TV (mainly) in regional areas with the recent merger with Austar in 2012.

  • Netflix was released in Australia and New Zealand on March 24, 2015. As of February 2019, 11.2 million Australians had a Netflix membership in their household, a 25% increase over the previous year

  • The first regular radio broadcasts in Australia began on November 13, 1923 from 2SB (later 2BL) in Sydney. ABC began broadcasting in 1932

Digital Media in Australia

As the demands for digital media products grow, digital media firms will need to develop marketing strategies in order to tap into the consumer base. The current demand for digital media solutions in Australia highlights the need for companies to develop new marketing strategies, as the marketing programs that are currently in place are proving to be insufficient to meet the challenges posed by the digital media market. Furthermore, as digital media companies expand their presence in Australia and look to expand their markets, competition will increase and demand for more creative ideas.

While some of the existing players in the market have the financial wherewithal to fund advertising campaigns which can potentially target the mass market, there are other companies that rely upon niche marketing strategies to succeed. The emergence of more digital media solutions companies in Australia will only heighten the competition and drive prices further down.

Digital Media in Australia has emerged as a key player in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) and entertainment industries. The demand for digital media has increased tremendously in the country. It provides a multimedia workspace for its customers, enabling them to produce and edit their content in various formats. The Australian electronic market is progressing rapidly and companies dealing in digital media are facing new challenges from international competition. As a result, companies are increasingly using consultants to understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in this rapidly changing arena. The Digital Media in Australia study from Australia Institute of Company Directors was carried out to examine the state of the industry in terms of product demand, technological developments and strategies, and business practices and regulations.

Extended Summary

Australia is a powerhouse in the international media business. The country has traditionally been at the forefront of all forms of media and communication, both conventional and digital. Now more than ever Australia needs a robust media industry to promote local, regional and foreign talent, to make good jobs and to make quality news and information available to Australian citizens. While there are many challenges ahead, including a shrinking economy and increasing global competition, Australian media and communications have an opportunity to reinvent themselves to position the country for the future. A new focus on quality and diversity, the need to invest in and ensure the development of digital skills, and the leverage of international expertise, can all contribute to this new focus.

Australia’s success as a forward thinking, progressive nation depends on its ability to exploit its natural advantages. These include the strengths of its geography, community spirit, economy, knowledge economy and its innate creative genius. All of these combine to provide the creative edge that has helped it become such a dynamic player in international media and communications. This is why efforts to strengthen the Australian media industry must be anchored in a strategic approach that not only develops the essential elements of a strong industry but also looks to international examples of success to drive its own industry forward. Such article reinforcing strategies can be implemented through a range of activities, including:

While strengthening the media sector through strengthening its identity is a major focus of both the federal and state governments, they are not the only actors that can play a significant role. Article developers, content publishers, writers, editors, marketers, public relations officers and other members of the Australian media and communications industry can play a key role in promoting the interests of the country in international markets.

There is a very real need for organisations within the media and communications space to adopt a collective vision that is focused on promoting and expanding the benefits of the Australian economy and promoting the wider interests of its people. This is why such organisations must actively seek out assistance from voluntary agencies and other voluntary organizations that can provide them with grant money, trade funding and access to other types of professional capital that can help them strengthen their foothold in the international market place.

Matthew Giannelis

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry.

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