"Streaming Success: Exploring Profit Potential for the ABC with Ex-Netflix Content Chief"streamingsuccess,profitpotential,ABC,ex-Netflixcontentchief
"Streaming Success: Exploring Profit Potential for the ABC with Ex-Netflix Content Chief"

“Streaming Success: Exploring Profit Potential for the ABC with Ex-Netflix Content Chief”

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The ABC‘s Potential for Increased Profitability in Content Creation


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has the potential to earn more money through larger investments in films and TV shows, according to the public broadcaster’s new content boss, Chris Oliver-Taylor. Oliver-Taylor, a former executive at Netflix, joined the ABC earlier this year to lead the newly established content division. He believes that by taking bigger risks, generating intellectual property, and investing more in certain shows, the ABC can generate additional revenue and support Australian producers.

The ABC‘s Financial Situation

The ABC currently receives a government-funded budget of $1.1 billion annually, with about a third of this budget allocated to the news division and transmission and infrastructure costs. The new content division, led by Oliver-Taylor, has a budget of approximately $350 million. Despite having the largest creative team in the country and commissioning a significant amount of scripted content, the ABC‘s financial returns from selling content have been relatively modest. In the 2021-22 financial year, the ABC generated just $21 million from selling content and $41 million from all its sales areas.

Comparisons with BBC Studios

To put the ABC‘s financial performance into perspective, BBC Studios, the production arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation, reported revenue of £1.6 billion ($3.07 billion) in the same period. BBC Studios generated £800 million from exporting shows, making it the top international TV distributor outside of Hollywood. Chris Oliver-Taylor believes that the ABC has the potential to expand its revenue stream by following a similar approach, particularly by investing in successful shows like “Bluey” and securing equity in their production.

Taking Risks and Generating Intellectual Property

While the ABC‘s primary objective is to serve the Australian audience, Oliver-Taylor argues that the broadcaster should take more risks and invest in creating intellectual property that can be monetized globally. By focusing on high-quality shows with higher expectations, the ABC can compete with paid streaming services like Netflix and increase its cultural impact. Oliver-Taylor acknowledges that the Australian broadcasting sector produces a significant amount of drama and comedy, but it’s crucial to ensure that these productions cut through internationally and generate financial returns for both the broadcaster and producers.

Importance of Volume and High-Quality Content

One of the challenges faced by the ABC is the fierce competition for attention from various platforms, including YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and free-to-air networks. Oliver-Taylor raises concerns about the industry’s emphasis on volume, as it can lead to compromises in quality. He suggests that by focusing on fewer projects at a higher price point, the ABC can maintain a high standard of content that resonates with international audiences. This approach would require careful consideration of audience preferences and a willingness to embrace technological advancements, such as sophisticated algorithms to personalize content recommendations.

The Role of Reality Shows and Digital Audience Growth

While the ABC aims to produce high-quality content, Oliver-Taylor emphasizes that it does not need to compete with shows like “Married at First Sight” on commercial networks. Instead, the broadcaster could explore reality shows like “Alone,” which have proven successful on other networks, such as SBS. Additionally, he acknowledges the importance of expanding the ABC‘s digital audience, given the declining viewership of linear television. To achieve this, the ABC intends to improve the user experience of its streaming platforms, ABC iView and ABC Listen, and utilize sophisticated algorithms to promote relevant shows to viewers.

Acknowledging Success and Engaging Audiences

Although some of the ABC‘s shows have performed exceptionally well, Oliver-Taylor believes that their success has not been adequately promoted. He mentions shows like “Utopia” and “Bay of Fires,” which attract an average of 2 million viewers per episode each month. However, he acknowledges that certain commercial programs, such as “Married at First Sight,” often surpass the ABC‘s offerings in terms of viewership. Nevertheless, Oliver-Taylor remains committed to engaging audiences and ensuring that the ABC‘s digital platforms, like ABC iView, gain wider popularity given that they are freely accessible.


With the appointment of Chris Oliver-Taylor as the ABC‘s content boss, there is a renewed emphasis on the broadcaster’s potential for increased profitability through its content division. By taking bigger risks, generating intellectual property, and investing in high-quality shows, Oliver-Taylor believes that the ABC can increase its revenue and provide greater financial opportunities for Australian producers. While balancing the need to serve the Australian audience and generate profits, the ABC must carefully navigate the competitive landscape of streaming services and engage viewers through personalized content recommendations and improved user experiences.


"Streaming Success: Exploring Profit Potential for the ABC with Ex-Netflix Content Chief"
<< photo by Kevin Matos >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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G'day, mates! I'm Greg Buckley, and I've been reporting here in the land Down Under for the last 15 years. I'm all about sports and culture, so if there's a footy match or an art exhibit, you'll likely see me there. Let's give it a burl together, Australia!

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