SPA reveals top challenges facing screen producers: 22% making a loss

The independent screen sector generated $1.2 billion in production revenue in 2017.

SPA has engaged Deloitte Access Economics to undertake a study into the current state of the independent film and television sector in Australia and the key issues it is facing.

Deloitte conducted a survey of production businesses and productions themselves to aggregate the size and scale of the independent sector in the calendar year 2017.

Summary of the key findings

• The independent screen sector generated $1.2 billion in production revenue and supported nearly 20,000 jobs.

The survey captured scripted (drama) and unscripted (reality, light entertainment) content, with an almost even split between the two genres.

• 47% of television productions surveyed received some government funding.
• 46% of commissions surveyed were from public broadcasters (ABC & SBS).
• 22% of surveyed production businesses made a loss (a very high proportion of these businesses had revenue under $1 million).
• 48% of production businesses made a slight profit.
• All production companies with revenue over $25 million made a profit.

Top challenges facing producers

• 44% of respondents cited broadcaster bargaining power as a challenge.
• 34% cited high labour/capital costs in Australia.
• 29% cited sector-specific government tax policy, international competition and competition from video on demand services.
• 26% cited the broadcasters’ trend towards vertically integrated production.

International opportunity

• 43% of production businesses exported, compared with 7.6% in the broader economy.
• 14% of total revenue was export revenue ($163 million).
• Key markets were North America and Europe.

Download the complete report here.

Top photo: Aaron Pedersen in Mystery Road (credit: John Platt)

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