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Multimedia industry offers multi-billion opportunity

Australia has the potential to develop a multi-billion dollar on-line multimedia industry by the end of the decade. This is the major finding of a report, Commerce in Content, released today by Federal Industry Minister, Senator Peter Cook.

Senator Cook was speaking at the opening of a multimedia developers conference in Sydney, organised by the Australasian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association (AIMIA).

Commerce in Content: building Australia's international future in interactive multimedia markets was prepared by consultants Cutler Company Pty Ltd with funding from the Department of Industry, Science and Technology, CSIRO and the Broadband Services Expert Group.

The report finds that there are major opportunities for Australia to develop online multimedia businesses worth billions of dollars by the end of the decade to directly serve consumers in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Other key findings indicate that overcoming distribution constraints will be critical to achieve significant returns to multimedia services and content developers:

Although CD-ROM will be the dominant platform for the next two to three years, Australia businesses should gain experience in developing on-line services as soon as possible. According to the study, these services should use ISDN and other technologies which can be applied using the existing telecommunications infrastructure.

Senator Cook said the report would make a constructive contribution to discussion of content development issues in Australia.

The Minister also announced two major initiatives to promote the international profile of Australia's multimedia products and services.

"My Department has already taken a number of initiatives to respond to developments in the multimedia industry," he said

"My department will contribute $50,000 towards a CD-ROM to promote Australian multimedia capability, for use by Australian companies overseas.

"The CD-ROM should be ready for the January 1995 MILIA multimedia publishing trade fair in Cannes, France, identified in the Cutler report as an important international event for Australian developers.

"In addition, my Department with the Market Australia program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will commission research to analyse the investment patterns of major multinationals investing in multimedia content and on line services development."

The research will seek investors' assessments of Australia's attractiveness as a location for such investment. The market research will be used by the Government in targeted campaigns to promote multimedia investment in Australia and will be available for use by Australian companies.

In a separate initiative, the Services and Consumer Products Committee of the IRD Board has appointed Ben Cardillo, a producer specialising in multimedia with Film Australia, to upgrade its multimedia expertise.

The Minister also launched a two-part video series which demonstrates Australian applications of multimedia and explains the Department's programs to multimedia developers. This is a joint project by the Department and the AIMIA.

Copies of Commerce in Content and the multimedia video series are available from the Department of Industry, Science and Technology on (06) 2761072.

CANBERRA

Contacts: Don Mackay Senator Cook's Office 06 277 7580

NR589

Graeme Taylor DIST 015 264 099

Keith Baker DFAT 06 261 3100 2Australia has the potential to develop a multi-billion dollar on-line multimedia industry by the end of the decade. This is the major finding of a report, Commerce in Content, released today by Federal Industry Minister, Senator Peter Cook.

Senator Cook was speaking at the opening of a multimedia developers conference in Sydney, organised by the Australasian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association (AIMIA).

Commerce in Content: building Australia's international future in interactive multimedia markets was prepared by consultants Cutler Company Pty Ltd with funding from the Department of Industry, Science and Technology, CSIRO and the Broadband Services Expert Group.

The report finds that there are major opportunities for Australia to develop online multimedia businesses worth billions of dollars by the end of the decade to directly serve consumers in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Other key findings indicate that overcoming distribution constraints will be critical to achieve significant returns to multimedia services and content developers:

Although CD-ROM will be the dominant platform for the next two to three years, Australia businesses should gain experience in developing on-line services as soon as possible. According to the study, these services should use ISDN and other technologies which can be applied using the existing telecommunications infrastructure.

Senator Cook said the report would make a constructive contribution to discussion of content development issues in Australia.

The Minister also announced two major initiatives to promote the international profile of Australia's multimedia products and services.

"My Department has already taken a number of initiatives to respond to developments in the multimedia industry," he said

"My department will contribute $50,000 towards a CD-ROM to promote Australian multimedia capability, for use by Australian companies overseas.

"The CD-ROM should be ready for the January 1995 MILIA multimedia publishing trade fair in Cannes, France, identified in the Cutler report as an important international event for Australian developers.

"In addition, my Department with the Market Australia program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will commission research to analyse the investment patterns of major multinationals investing in multimedia content and on line services development."

The research will seek investors' assessments of Australia's attractiveness as a location for such investment. The market research will be used by the Government in targeted campaigns to promote multimedia investment in Australia and will be available for use by Australian companies.

In a separate initiative, the Services and Consumer Products Committee of the IRD Board has appointed Ben Cardillo, a producer specialising in multimedia with Film Australia, to upgrade its multimedia expertise.

The Minister also launched a two-part video series which demonstrates Australian applications of multimedia and explains the Department's programs to multimedia developers. This is a joint project by the Department and the AIMIA.

Copies of Commerce in Content and the multimedia video series are available from the Department of Industry, Science and Technology on (06) 2761072.

CANBERRA

Contacts:

Don Mackay

Senator Cook's Office 06 277 7580

Graeme Taylor

DIST 015 264 099

Keith Baker

DFAT 06 261 3100 2