Two one-off funding boosts last year for public media resulted in more than 50 new projects targeting under-served audiences.
In its Annual Report 2018/19 just tabled in Parliament, public media funding agency NZ On Air has reported on an exceptionally busy year – issuing 12 specific Requests for Proposals, over and above the agency’s five usual funding rounds, and prompting an 82% increase in applications for the Scripted and Factual streams of its contestable fund.
The increase in applications and funded projects was made possible by $4m in additional crown funding direct to NZ On Air, and a $6m joint innovation fund operated with RNZ.
“There is no shortage of great creative ideas for new content that engages diverse New Zealand audiences. We were able to respond quickly and comprehensively to the one-off funding to demonstrate what can be achieved when our creative communities are given new opportunities,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.
“The local media environment is becoming increasingly fragile, eroded by audience fragmentation and the economic power of global platforms. Our support for stories and songs that reflect Aotearoa, is a vital cultural lifeline,” Ms Wrightson continued.
Among the year’s achievements:
- Eight exciting new Scripted projects by newer Asian and Pasifika storytellers supported into development.
- Our first Pasifika targeted music funding round producing 14 new songs from Pasifika artists.
- New drama and comedy delivered solid audience ratings – The Bad Seed, Wellington Paranormal, and Golden Boy just three of a number of new shows to linear and on demand viewing.
- Audience acclaim for our first ‘slow TV’ experience Go South.
- 1.8 million downloads of podcasts on Access Internet Radio.
- 770,000 visits to children’s online platform HEIHEI for 92 local content titles.
- Captioning added to HEIHEI, making children’s content more accessible
- 20.3 million streams (at year end) of the most popular funded song, Soaked by Benee.
- An increase in the number of New Zealanders who believe in NZ On Air’s mission (81% up from 74%.)