ACMA knows what’s what… What?

The last text I critiqued was BuzzFeedVideo’s ‘People try the Apple Watch for the first time’ video. This week I am looking at ACMA’s blog post ‘Supply & demand: Catch-up TV leads Australians’ online video use’. Up until this point, I didn’t even know ACMA had a blog, let alone read any of the posts there.

ACMA is the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the tagline on their website being “Making media and communications work for all Australians”. For more about what they do, check out this video:

This post is a part of their mission to provide a “solid platform of evidence to inform decision-makers”. It’s a very long read, divided into 7 sections with an introduction and endnotes, providing sources cited throughout the text, to bookend the five other sections of the article. The report focuses specifically on data about “professionally produced long-form video content” and does not cover short-form clips, user-generated content or other material such as peer-to-peer file sharing. Basically this means they focus on the legal means of acquiring content that is created by socially sanctioned industry professionals where legal proceedings are more likely to be carried out.

Following the introduction, there is a section on device usage comparing television usage to other devices such as desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smartphones, etc. While televisions remain the dominant device for accessing broadcast media, the increase in variety of devices, services and networks has resulted in an increase for other devices especially given the introduction of online video content. This type of content is most typically viewed on computers or internet-enabled televisions. The article then details the services offered online and by whom, showing ABC iview as the longest running catch-up service and remains the most highly visited service. You can also see a breakdown of different services separated by the five types of providers. After this, there are more statistics to make up a section on “key trends among Australia’s home internet users”. The data becomes slightly more qualitative when looking at the reasons why Australians access online video content. Finally, the article lists some upcoming influential factors in the future of online video content for Australia, including the arrival of Netflix and the NBN rollout.

Throughout the article there are graphics, tables and graphs depicting quantitative analysis and data. This information is sourced from various different organisations both internal but mostly external to the government organisation. Therefore, the article basically acts as an amalgamation of statistics and data from various locales, pulling them together and displaying them in an aesthetically pleasing albeit lengthy collection of graphics with text explaining the data depicted and supplementing context and occasionally extra data.

I thought this article would be relevant to my upcoming research project on how Australian university students access their favourite television programs. I’m glad I have realised the limitations in this particular article as I am very interested in both legal and illegal means of access.


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