NZ On Air confirms new platform neutral funding strategy

Digital · Media Releases · Music · Radio · Television · 19th December 2016

NZ On Air will adopt a new single strategy and single media fund from July 1 2017, after receiving overwhelming support for the new approach from stakeholders.

In September the media funding agency launched a draft Funding Strategy proposing a single fund, the NZ Media Fund, to replace its multiple funds and strategies that have begun to overlap in a dynamic media environment.

The agency discussed the strategy at numerous stakeholder meetings and conferences and invited written submissions – 326 were received. Overwhelmingly the feedback was positive. A number of operational points were raised about how the NZ Media Fund would work in practice and these are being worked through.

Key issues raised included the requirement for co-investment, whether all content must be free-to-air first and whether there should be ring-fenced funds for certain audiences (ie children, Māori.)

“We have been heartened by the response to the new funding strategy, which has been seen as a timely and appropriate response to the changing environment. We now have six months of hard graft to iron out more of the details and criteria for how we will run funding rounds,” said NZ on Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“I want to thank everyone who had their say. We have listened, and particularly in the operational side of the NZ Media Fund, you have helped us to clarify some of the fishhooks and details,” Ms Wrightson continued.

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.

In addition to the changes at a strategic level, the agency has restructured to create more efficient and streamlined staff processes, and a fully online applications system is about to launch.

“We are operating in an incredibly fast-changing environment. The new strategy and single fund are the building blocks for change. We are now better-equipped to alter course as the tides of international content, technology and audiences continue to shift,” said Ms Wrightson.

The final Funding Strategy can be read here.  A discussion document which details the issues raised by stakeholders and our responses is here.

There will be further updates in the New Year as the operational aspects of the NZ Media Fund are finalised.