Where next will ABC’s digital strategy lead?


The closures of ABC Shop retail outlets was followed by a wave of negative public reaction, but like the rest of the nation, the ABC moving increasingly online. Whether the ABC can ask users to pay for these new offerings will test its public service values, writes Jonathon Hutchinson.

While the ABC’s announcement of a “phased exit” from its portfolio of 50 ABC Shop properties is an unfortunate outcome for the 300 or so employees, it’s an unsurprising strategic business move.

While some were blaming the loss of $254 million government funding over the next three years — including more vocal ABC supporters complaining on Twitter about the “killing” of their ABC — the move should be seen as an extension of the ABC’s digital strategy that aligns with the shift in media consumer habits.

Shifting consumer shopping habits away from bricks and mortar shops and the structural move to digital consumption has created a downturn in CD, DVD and book sales for ABC Commercial which has been a drag on revenue – its most recent commercial contribution to the ABC net revenue was a lowly $1.5 million.

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