The Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts launched Screen Currency, the most significant report ever undertaken into the value of Australia’s screen industry. The report is the first comprehensive assessment of the economic, social and cultural worth of the nation’s screen sector, and comes amid discussion around regulatory reform to better support the industry into the future. The report, commissioned by Screen Australia, shows that the creation of Australian screen content and talent provides around $3 billion annually to the local economy, generating in excess of 25,000 jobs.
Australian feature films, TV dramas and documentaries earn at least $252 million annually through exports. Approximately 230,000 international tourists visit Australia or extend their stay each year as a consequence of Australian screen content, spending an estimated $725 million. The report also found the value the Australian public place on locally made screen content is $17 billion annually.
A year in the making, Screen Currency combines the findings of research by Deloitte Access Economics and Olsberg SPI. The analysis draws on measures including Australian Bureau of Statistics data, screen industry production and performance data, as well as survey results of approximately 1,100 Australian and international respondents, and consultations with Australian production, film distribution, broadcasting and digital distribution experts.
Total contribution to GDP 2014/15: $3.072 billion; 25,304 full-time jobs, this includes film and TV content under Australian creative control, $2.6 billion; 20,000 full-time jobs. Activity and revenue generated by the advertising industry, and the value of Australian content to commercial broadcasters (not captured in the report), would drive up these figures.
Audiences value Australian content because it is diverse and unique 1,049 survey respondents identified 271 different films and programs they consider culturally valuable, demonstrating the vast breadth of tastes and awareness. Audiences prefer local content 98% of survey respondents watch Australian content, 64% say Australian content accounts for up to half their viewing, 76% of Australians believe the Government should support the screen sector. Australian audiences place estimated value of $17 billion annually on local screen content, taking into account willingness to pay and time spent viewing. $415 million annually in the value people place on the benefit of others being able to watch content.
Cultural benefits of Australian content can also be measured qualitatively through its direct social and/or economic impact (‘instrumental value’), the extent to which it can help organisations or institutions engage the public in order to gain trust and esteem (‘institutional value’), its capacity to entertain, dazzle, challenge, elicit emotion and engage imagination on a subjective level (‘intrinsic value’), Australian audiences place estimated value of $17 billion annually on local screen content, taking into account willingness to pay and time spent viewing.