ABC Annual Report: public broadcaster more valuable than ever

The past financial year has seen the ABC produce award-winning and valued content that has attracted record audiences while also delivering outstanding value for money.

In a year where Australians have demanded crucial information, entertainment, and analysis about the world around them, the ABC has provided a trusted range of services across multiple platforms. The ABC Annual Report 2021 provides a detailed record of the value Australians have received from the national broadcaster and the strong return on their investment.

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose AC OBE said as the ABC approaches its 90th anniversary, its value and contribution to the nation deserved ongoing recognition.

“We’ve never provided better value for the investment Australians have entrusted to us,” Ms Buttrose said. “The ABC is part of the national infrastructure that keeps Australia safe, aware, informed, stable, and united through times of change.”

Managing Director, David Anderson said that the ABC had made great progress on its 5-year plan and will accelerate its implementation in the year ahead.

“We are determined to make the ABC even more relevant for more Australians,” Mr Anderson said.

“This means increased investment in personalised digital media services, a stronger focus on the local issues that matter the most to our audiences including by getting content makers closer to the communities they serve and making sure we are reflecting the diversity of Australia in our content and through the ABC workforce.

“Throughout 2021-22, the Corporation will continue to seek new opportunities and initiatives to ensure that it delivers valued and valuable services to the people of Australia.”

Highlights of the past year include:

  • ABC NEWS has now been Australia’s number 1 digital news brand since January 2020 and reaches 50%+ of the population on digital each month.
  • Across the year ABC News teams won more than 60 local and national journalism awards.
  • The daily Coronacast podcast attracted large audiences, with 16 million downloads in the year to date – an average download rate of 114,000 per episode.
  • 360,000+ Australians completed the Australia Talks online tool which also achieved 8.6 million page views of digital content in four weeks.
  • 9 million views and 1.8 million engagements on social platforms with Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds.
  • 5 million watched Bluey across ABC Kids and on ABC iview.
  • 2,812,755 votes were cast for triple j’s Hottest 100.
  • 4 million page views in 2021 of ABC Science digital articles, up from 5.5 million in 2020.
  • The ABC’s 2020 New Year’s Eve coverage reached 3.5 million Australians on broadcast TV.
  • Weekly livestreams of ABC capital city radio services on the ABC listen app increased by 29%, peaking at more than 900,000 in June 2021.
  • Freeman reached 1.73 million viewers on broadcast TV and ABC iview
  • The launch of ABC Everyday with a focus on connecting with regional and local communities via content that is relevant to people’s everyday lives. Audiences responded positively, with an average of 518,000 weekly users in 2021, an increase of 30% on 2020.
  • ABC teams supported and celebrated communities through appeals and events. In December 2020, the ABC helped raise more than $1.5 million through the New Year’s Eve Appeal and state-based Christmas appeals.
  • The launch of Commissioning for Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines for screen content in February 2021, to ensure more diverse faces, voices, cultures and stories are reflected and represented on Australian screens.

Read the 2020-2021 ABC Annual Report.

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