Video on demand a boon for local screen sector

New figures released today show the subscription video on demand (SVOD) sector has become a significant source of investment in Australian screen content.

The inaugural SVOD Australian content investment report published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows that four providers—Amazon Prime, Disney, Netflix and Stan—spent over $150 million on Australian programs in 2019-20.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the report would help the Morrison Government make the right decisions for local industry.

“I commissioned this report in December 2020 to give the Government a strong evidence base to develop local growth through well-targeted policy and industry investment programmes,” Minister Fletcher said.

“What we know from this initial report is that we have a sound starting point in terms of content, a good footprint overseas, and that more than 80 per cent of the $153 million expenditure was on commissioning or co-commissioning new Australian programs.”

The report highlights the growing appetite domestically and internationally for local content, with over 3,000 hours of Australian content from more than 600 programs available on the four services.

The Government is increasing the Producer Offset rate for television content from 20 per cent to 30 per cent to allow the sector to engage further with SVODs and make Australian content available to audiences no matter where they choose to watch it.

The Morrison Government provided extensive support to the Australian screen production industry in 2020-21 with initiatives including: the $50 million Temporary Interruption Fund; tax offsets, including the Producer Offset and the Post, Digital and Visual Effects Offset; and the highly successful $540 million Location Incentive program.

The Government will also provide $110 million of support in 2021-22 to Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation to support the development and production of Australian drama, documentary and children’s screen content across film and television.

Media contact:
Imre Salusinszky | 0432 535 737 | Imre.Salusinszky@communications.gov.au
Christine Byllaardt | 0409 433 357 | Christine.VandenByllaardt@communications.gov.au