Riverina-based online television service WaggaWagga.tv is aiming to develop a national network of regional live streaming stations to fill the void left by the withdrawal of local TV crews from the bush.
Deputy Premier and minister for Regional NSW, Skills and Small Business, John Barilaro, said WaggaWagga.tv has received a $15,000 Minimum Viable Product grant from NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW to develop an app to expand its Wagga Wagga online streaming service to regional areas across the country.
“Wagga Wagga TV streams a live web-based daily news bulletin, a weekend sports broadcast, original shows and local events. It has produced more than 700 videos since 2015 and its weekend sports broadcast draws 20,000 views per match,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Company founder Adam Drummond has built the company from scratch with an innovative model that gives local advertisers a chance to reach their audience.
“This is a fantastic example of an entrepreneurial country company taking advantage of advances in technology which are driving more viewers online.”
Mr Drummond said his ultimate goal was to have regional outlets across Australia providing a strong network to promote local news, events and businesses.
“As we move more into the online media space my feeling is we will move away from advertising being the main source of revenue,” he said. “This means there will be fewer places for local businesses to promote themselves so we want to be the online media vehicle for that.”
Mr Drummond has developed an app which demonstrates his proposed network called ‘reech.tv’ and its potential to be franchised initially in locations including Orange, Dubbo, Griffith, Townsville, Forster, Mount Gambier and Broken Hill.
He hopes to offer franchises to production companies and local TV news crews with training to replicate the successful WaggaWagga.tv model.
“We’ve seen production people made redundant at regional TV stations like WIN and Prime and with online technology it’s well and truly in their reach to become their own bosses.
“We are tapping into a problem that will become more evident when terrestrial broadcast media migrates to an online app-based environment and we’re riding the wave of a tsunami that hasn’t hit yet.
“I think when it all evolves over the next five years we will be ahead of the curve.”