ABC disputes 'dumbing down' content on new lifestyle platform

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 3 August 2018

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has disputed accusations that its new lifestyle platform, ABC Life, will dumb down content as it makes a play for the lucrative youth and lifestyle market.

The platform has been designed to bring together existing ABC content from areas such as news, radio, television, podcasts and online.

AdNews understands that the majority of the content appearing across Life already exists across the ABC's online platforms and production of the content will remain true its reporting style, instead of opting for a 'BuzzFeed' style.

The cost of the venture will also be significantly less than the $8 million price tag that has been previously reported.

"While we don’t comment on internal budgets, Guardian Australia’s figures were significantly inaccurate," an ABC spokesperson said.

"The project has a small dedicated team and mostly gives existing ABC employees from around Australia an opportunity to work on an exciting new digital project."

“No authorised, discoverable ABC spokesperson has made the statements that the purpose of ABC Life is ‘to replicate content that does well on commercial sites’ or that it will be a ‘BuzzFeed page for the ABC'."

ABC Life is funded by the ABC Content Fund, which was announced in March last year to meet the changing needs and expectations of audiences.

The site will utilise ABC journalists and content makers from around metropolitan and regional Australia and bring together in one place curated content from across the ABC.

"In a cluttered digital environment, fresh approaches are needed to ensure stories are created and shared in ways that are most useful to audiences," a statement from the broadcaster said.

"ABC Life will make a broad range of quality and engaging ABC content more easily accessible."

Going live on Monday 6 August, the ABC Life site creates a "new home" to showcase content on issues "important to all Australians", covering areas such as work and careers, health and wellbeing, finance, relationships and family.

It brings together curated content from ABC Television, ABC News, ABC Regional and Local, triple j, Radio National, ABC online and podcasts, supplemented by creative output from the ABC Life team.

“ABC Life builds on the tradition of the ABC tapping into the everyday topics, issues and stories that matter to people. It will look and sound like Australia now, and be free of advertiser interests," ABC Life lead Scott Spark says.

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