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Drama Report 2022/23: $2.34 billion spent in Australia from 213 productions

02/11/2023

02 11 2023 - Media release Drama Report 2022/23: $2.34 billion spent in Australia from 213 productions

NCIS: Sydney, The New Boy, Ginger and the Vegesaurs.

Screen Australia's 33rd annual Drama Report released today shows the second highest expenditure ever on scripted screen production in Australia, with $2.34 billion spent across a record 213 titles in 2022/23. Despite being slightly down (4%) on last year's record expenditure, which saw $2.43 billion spent across 171 drama productions, this is significantly above the 5-year average.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, We're proud to report the second highest drama spend ever in Australia. It has been remarkable witnessing the unprecedented surge in production in Australia in recent years and the 2022/23 Drama Report highlights another stellar year for drama production in Australia.

Australian titles made up $1.13 billion of total spend. Although expenditure by Australian subscription TV and Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) has decreased this year, growth in Free-to-Air (FTA) TV and Broadcaster Video-On-Demand (BVOD) has helped to offset those declines to deliver the second highest Australian expenditure on record. Spend on children's drama across TV and VOD platforms also increased from last year, but has not returned to previous highs. Expenditure on Australian theatrical features declined from last year's record high, driven by fewer big-budget titles.

This year's Drama Report showcases the dynamic landscape of drama, with significant expenditure coming from a number of different categories. A record Australian PDV spend and continued spend from subscription TV and SVOD titles, such as the upcoming Heartbreak High series 2, High Country and Prosper, and an increase in Australian FTA TV and BVOD spend, coming from titles such as Total Control series 3, RFDS series 2 and While the Men are Away have helped to deliver a fantastic result. We have also seen TV and VOD titles such as Neighbours exploring new hybrid distribution models, releasing on both FTA and SVOD platforms in a short window, Mason said.

2022/23 also saw record expenditure in Australia from foreign titles ($1.22 billion, up from $904 million in 2021/22). In particular, this was driven by record expenditure from foreign titles shooting in Australia ($809 million), an increase of 83% from 2021/22 and another year of significant spend from foreign titles conducting Post, Digital and Visual effects work (PDV) in Australia.

Big-budget foreign productions like The Fall Guy and The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes that shoot in Australia have incredible flow-on benefits for local businesses, communities and the broader economy, and allow local cast and crew to acquire experience and new skills. Further, the international demand for our PDV expertise reflects the confidence of global companies in our talent and technology, Mason continued.

Figure 1: Total expenditure in Australia ($m)

New South Wales set a new record for the third year running, with over $1.3 billion in expenditure in 2022/23, accounting for 56% of the national total. Queensland also set a new record, with total expenditure of $581 million, 23% above last year. Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia all saw declines with spend falling 45%, 52% and 9% respectively. Combined spend in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Tasmania declined to $4 million in 2022/23.

It's fantastic to see New South Wales and Queensland continue to go from strength to strength. Like any industry, the demand for production and post-production services and particular filming locations, will understandably come in ebbs and flows. What's important is these results illustrate that the states and territories are generating significant activity domestically and are establishing themselves as premier destinations for foreign projects.

Figure 2: Spend by location ($m)

There's no denying, our screen practitioners and businesses continue to punch above their weight both domestically and on the international stage. As we look to the future, we need to ensure that we stay on top of our game by working together with industry and the state and territory agencies to foster the skilled workforce this level of production critically needs, Mason said.

AUSTRALIAN THEATRICAL FEATURE FILMS DECLINE FROM LAST YEAR'S RECORD Australian theatrical features saw total expenditure of $363 million in 2022/23, a 54% decrease in spending since 2021/22, and 17% below the 5-year average. This drop can be attributed to having fewer big-budget theatrical features, with only one big-budget title in 2022/23. In contrast, the previous year s record-high spending was driven by several big-budget features such as Furiosa, Foe, and Better Man.

2022/23 theatrical features included Limbo, The New Boy, and The Royal Hotel.

AUSTRALIAN GENERAL TV AND VOD DRAMA SEES CONTINUED HIGH EXPENDITURE OVERALL The $680 million of expenditure in 2022/23 was slightly (2%) up on last year's result. This category is made up of three sub-categories:

Australian general Free-to-air (FTA) TV and Broadcaster Video-on-Demand (BVOD) drama

Australian general subscription TV and Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD)

Australian general Advertising-based Video-On-Demand (AVOD), Transactional Video-On-Demand (TVOD), and other online content.

Figure 14: Australia general TV and VOD drama - spend ($m)

AUSTRALIAN GENERAL FTA TV AND BVOD DRAMA GROWS FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR This segment encompasses drama content designed for family and adult audiences, initially released on FTA television channels such as ABC, NITV, SBS, Seven, Nine, and 10, or their respective online platforms like ABC iview, SBS On Demand, 7plus, 9Now, and 10 play.

Australian general FTA TV and BVOD expenditure increased by 26%
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2023/11-02-dra...
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