Skip to main content

Spending by subscription video on demand providers 2019–20

Four subscription video on demand (SVOD) providers – Amazon Prime, Disney, Netflix and Stan – spent $153 million in the 2019–20 financial year on Australian programs.

These are programs that meet minimum requirements for key creative roles, including producers, directors, writers and cast.

Over 80% of the expenditure of the 4 SVODs related to the commissioning or co-commissioning of new Australian programs in:

  • drama
  • children’s programs
  • documentaries
  • light entertainment
  • other programming genres.

The remaining expenditure included the costs of acquiring older Australian programs.

Australian programs available in Australia

As at 30 June 2020, there were 618 Australian program titles (3,080 hours) available on the 4 SVOD services.

Table 1 below shows the number of titles and hours by all SVODs.

Table 1: Australian programs made available on services in Australia as at 30 June 2020, by genre*

 

Hours

Titles

No genre provided**

1,313

204

Australian drama

1,159

261

Australian children’s drama

242

40

Australian children’s
non-drama

129

34

Australian documentary

116

40

Australian other programming

82

18

Australian light entertainment

41

21

Australian sport

0

0

Total

3,080

618

* Note: In this table, durations are rounded to the nearest hour and each program series is considered a title.

**SVODs were unable to provide a detailed breakdown of genres of some Australian programs.

 

Figure 1: Hours of Australian programs made available on SVOD services in Australia as at 30 June 2020, by genre (excluding where genre is not available)

Graph 1

Australian programs outside Australia

SVODs also reported the number of Australian programs made available on services outside Australia (Table 2). The regions reported by SVODs varied:

  • All SVODs reported on Australian programs available in the US.
  • 3 SVODs reported on programs for the UK, Canada and Spain.
  • 2 SVODs reported on programs for India, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Argentina.

Data for regions where only one SVOD reported Australian programs has not been included in Table 2. This includes China, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Sweden, Turkey, Poland and Italy.

Table 2: Australian programs made available on SVOD services outside Australia as at 30 June 2020

 

USA

UK

Canada

Germany

Japan

France

Spain

Mexico

Brazil

Argentina

India

Number of Australian program titles

583

507

445

175

160

147

144

138

133

92

29

Total hours of Australian programs

3874

4419

3560

890

496

886

881

643

581

443

262

Figure 2: Number of Australian program (titles) on rest of world SVOD services, as at 30 June 2020

Graph 2 

Other supports for production

SVODs also support the production of content made in Australia in ways other than commissioning or purchasing Australian programs. This includes:

  • Commissioning ‘Australian-related’ programs. These are classified as shows that meet at least one criteria of an ‘Australian program’. For example, at least one aspect of creative control is performed by an Australian. SVODs spent $115 million on Australian-related programs in 2019–20.
  • Providing long-term employment opportunities through local production facilities.
  • Providing an additional distribution channel for new and classic Australian programs.

Points to consider with SVOD data

  1. The then Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts wrote to Amazon, Disney, Netflix and Stan in December 2020. He requested that they report to the ACMA on their investment in Australian programs. They were asked to report for the 2019–20 financial year by 30 March 2021, and then by 29 August each year after.
  2. This report presents aggregated expenditure and program information reported by 4 SVODs in Australia. In requesting SVODs report to the ACMA, the minister noted only aggregate information would be published. We have published information consistent with this instruction and SVOD confidentiality requests.
  3. SVODs have voluntarily reported this information to us. Where possible, we have verified the information but cannot confirm its accuracy. We have standardised the information where possible to allow consistency with information reported by TV broadcasters and Screen Australia. However, due to differences between SVOD services and with TV broadcasters, there are some areas where direct comparisons are not possible.
  4. The definition used for an Australian program for SVODs purposes is consistent with Section 10 of the Broadcasting Services (Australian Content and Children’s Television) Standards 2020. For consistency with regulatory frameworks for commercial and subscription televisions, SVODs reported expenditure related to Australian official co-productions, Australian/New Zealand programs and New Zealand programs as expenditure on ‘Australian’ programs. The vast majority of programs were made under the creative control of Australians.
  5. SVOD providers reported total hours and numbers of distinct Australian programs available on their Australian services. We requested that this data include only Australian and official co-productions.
  6. If the provider did not have ‘rest-of-world’ services, commissioned Australian programs distributed to foreign-owned services were reported. We asked only for aggregated data for the number and hours of Australian programs on rest-of-world services.
Back to top
ONLINE ENQUIRY