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ABC offers AU$1 million fund to kickstart Aussie podcasts

Aunty wants to find and develop local podcast talent, and it's putting a cool million on the line to help get new and emerging podcasts on air.

The ABC is pushing its broadcasting into the 21st century. 
James Martin/CNET

Podcasters, it's time to go pro.

The ABC has announced a AU$1 million fund to find and develop emerging podcast talent, with the goal of bringing new podcasts to its platform by 2018.

The funding has been set aside to find "smaller, existing community-based podcasts as well as up-and-coming podcasters with a view to giving them a larger platform and audience base," according to the ABC.

"We see an enormous opportunity to reach out to some of Australia's most talented podcasters and give them the opportunity to benefit from our expertise and experience as Australia's leading podcast producer," Director of ABC Radio Michael Mason said in a statement Friday. 

It's a big win for the Aussie podcast scene and for would-be broadcasters looking for more experience. But it's also a sign the ABC is moving with the times -- legacy broadcasters can no longer afford to hold the world of TV and radio broadcasting behind closed doors, when anyone with a basic microphone setup or a phone can produce their own content and get it out to the world over the internet.

Mason said the ABC would "deliberately preference content that fills the gaps in our current offering" when selecting podcasters, but the fund would also be used to commission podcasts around specific topics (such as sport, comedy and the arts) and for specific community groups.

The ABC says it will call for submissions in the coming months and new podcasts will go live in early 2018.

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