Could ABC iView become a subscription service?

The ABC should charge users for access to its iView online catch-up service, according to a government review into public broadcast. While most iView content would remain free on the grounds that taxpayers have technically already paid to produce, the review suggests a paid subscription model could be introduced for users who want access to archived programs and special content, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The ABC should charge users for access to its iView online catch-up service, according to a government review into public broadcast. While most iView content would remain free on the grounds that taxpayers have technically already paid to produce, the review suggests a paid subscription model could be introduced for users who want access to archived programs and special content, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Avid iView watchers shouldn’t be too worried yet though. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the review was "a report to government, not a report from the government", reinforcing that a subscription iView service is not Government policy.

Last year, ABC's management made it clear that iView costs millions of dollars to run, with traffic doubling roughly every 18 months. According to Nielsen, the free service is used by approximately half of Australians with an internet connection.

While last year ABC director of television Richard Finlayson said charging for iView was not under consideration, it appears that there may be a greater chance for such a change to be on the cards.

Sources: Syndey Morning Herald, The Australian, ABC

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