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Success Metrics

#1 Television network in Australia

Increased content awareness and brand trust

Improved audience perception in 4 key pillars within 12 months

Overview

As Australia’s largest public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reaches 67% of Australians each week. The ABC consists of a TV network of 5 channels, 10 radio networks, digital platforms including websites, apps, and podcasts and a presence in third party platforms. ABC’s Audience Data & Insights Team (AD&I) team is responsible for helping the entire organization understand the market landscape as well as audience preferences and experiences.

Through their YourSpace community the ABC Insights team connects with their audience to ensure they are providing relevant and valued content, meeting community standards, being a primary source of information in emergency situations, and that content produced is making an impact. This rich feedback captured through YourSpace is leveraged by teams across the organization to improve programming, test concepts, and ensure ABC is a trusted and valuable resource for the nation.

Goals:

  • Deliver relevant, distinctive, and high-quality content
  • Lead as a trusted resource and source of information in times of crisis
  • Understand audience opinions and expectations to drive future programming and strategy
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Business Challenge

Beyond ratings, the audience experience is an essential measure of success, especially for a public broadcaster. The ABC needed to ensure they were achieving their goals for high-quality content that met community standards and made a positive impact on viewers.

“ABC’s purpose is to deliver valued services that reflect and contribute to Australian society, culture, and identity," Rob Barnfield, Audience Insights Manager, Content explains. " But we need to bring that purpose into the corporate DNA, not just on paper." 

Solution

In 2016, ABC launched the YourSpace panel, an insight community with thousands of members who give feedback to ensure ABC is providing value to audiences across Australia.

Content Development

Three times each year, ABC conducts a survey to understand how their audience perceives their content. They ask members to rate the content that they’ve watched, read, or listened to over the past week in terms of its quality and distinctiveness. They discover to what degree people appreciate the content and how likely they are to recommend it to others. 

“A show might be a big hit in one area but not in others, so getting that balance right is a challenge,” says Rob. For this reason, ABC must have a representative audience in their studies and the ability to segment responses for detailed analysis. Weighted average content scores allow them to compare across teams and track performance over time.

ABC also incorporates broad feedback from viewers in their content research, using the Alida platform to execute surveys and synthesize data. For example, a recent study highlighted that over one third of Australian adults had seen or heard coarse language in the media within the previous six months. The study gave guidance on specific words and situations people deemed offensive and their opinions and expectations around this kind of language.

Making a national impact

Having a large, diverse sample is essential to measure the impact of ABC’s programming on people’s opinions and behaviors. For example, 36,722 Australians completed a survey associated with the program “War on Waste,” making it one of  the largest study on waste behaviors in the world. They found the program had a profound impact on the Australian community, with 84% of viewers learning something new, 85% finding the program thought provoking, and 68% claiming to have made changes aimed to reduce their waste footprint based on watching the program. What’s more, learnings from the survey informed content for subsequent programming.

The team also uncovers information that validates and challenges assumptions within the organization. While research showed ABC was the most used and trusted media source through emergency situations, there was room to improve awareness and increase messaging channels. For decades, local radio stations were considered the lead channel during emergency situations like bushfires and floods. But, research showed that younger viewers preferred digital channels during those times, while radio remained important in rural areas. In response to these learnings, the ABC launched a dedicated emergency website and integrated advertising campaign highlighting that multiple channels were available for emergency information. 

Results

Actions driven through the ABC Insights team are fed to a variety of stakeholders with content, marketing and digital teams all looking to prioritize and better understand audience needs.

Thanks in part to the valued feedback of the audiences and the prioritization of the organization to listen and act on their insights, ABC has risen to become Australia's top television network. The insights delivered by the AD&I team are measured via improvements through their overarching corporate mandate and over the last 12 months audience surveys have shown an increase in 4 pillar categories including: innovation, community value, trust, and contribution to national identity.

Having this large, diverse group of dedicated consumers always available to the ABC insights team is essential to making sure they’re providing the right content and providing value to every person across the country.

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