The release of ASTRA’s Australian Content Investment and Employment survey results highlights subscription TV’s (STV) ongoing commitment to investment in quality Australian content as well as its role as a dynamic provider of employment opportunities across the sector.
The results reveal that in 2011-12 STV’s investment in Australian content production increased by 13% on the financial year 2010-11 to a total of $667 million. Survey figures also show that the STV industry employed 6,451 people in 2011-12 with 4,657 staff directly employed by ASTRA members in salaried, part time or contract positions. Near gender equality was also achieved with women comprising 44% of the workforce.
As well as investment and employment data, ASTRA also released Deloitte Access Economic estimates that place the overall direct contribution made by STV to the Australian economy at $1.4 billion in 2011-12. Overall investment since STV was launched in 1995 now sits at over $7 billion. In a changing environment, the strength of the industry is reflected in these positive results.
While STV investment in Australian content continues to rise it is also important to highlight that STV is exporting an increased amount of Australian programming to international marketplaces like Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Holland, South Africa, Spain and throughout Asia. Original STV programming that is reaching international audiences includes Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet, Grand Designs Australia, Camp Orange, Kings Cross ER, Killing Time, Australia’s Great Flood and many more.
STV also continues to bring Australian audiences great content through landmark partnerships. Foxtel recently announced that it will provide its customers with exclusive first run HBO content as well as access to HBO library content. The output agreement gives Foxtel exclusive access to new HBO series, miniseries, comedy specials and documentaries, including viewer favourites such as Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Girls, True Blood, Treme, Veep and Eastbound & Down. Programs will be available in High Definition via linear channels, on demand on Foxtel’s IQ set top box and IP delivered services such as Foxtel on Xbox360. The deal ensures that Australian subscribers will be able to see first run exclusive dramas broadcast express from the US as soon as the day after their original air-date.
The STV industry continues to innovate and provide Australian subscribers with exclusive Australian and international content, across a number of devices and almost on par with US airdates. STV’s ongoing and increasing investment in original Australian content, employment and in turn the Australian economy, is testament to the industry moving forward.