Advanced Television

Australia: Streaming commissions plummet

June 6, 2024

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has released the results of a recent membership survey investigating how local and global streamers are currently engaging with Australian producers.

The results paint a bleak picture of the current commissioning landscape, with 80 per cent of respondents citing ‘Less’ or ‘Much Less’ commissioning interest from streaming services compared to the same time last year. International streamers were revealed as the least engaged commissioners, with 38 per cent and 36 per cent  of respondents, respectively, naming the streamers as ‘Less’ or ‘Much Less’ engaged than in 2023. Local commissioner Stan remained the most engaged.

Respondents quoted a range of negative impacts of this slowdown, from the mental health of crew to the financing of projects, with 54 per cent stating the slowdown was impacting every stage of the production process, from initial meetings to development and into production. One respondent commented: “Every part of the development life cycle is moving at a glacial speed.”

When asked what the most common reason given by the streamers for the slowdown was, respondents named a “Global slowdown in investment” as the top offender, though several noted “Awaiting Government regulation” as the true unsaid reason, with one respondent noting: “There is a wide gap between what the Networks SAY and what we KNOW is the reason.”

SPA CEO, Matthew Deaner, commented: “This data is alarming. With only one month left until the Australian Government’s proposed regulation of streaming services is due to start, it is clear screen producers and the workforce they employ are only just hanging on. Australian audiences need some guarantee of access to Australian stories via online streaming services, just like they have for other services. The screen industry has been extraordinarily patient throughout a lengthy consultation process. Still, we need the Albanese Government to deliver on this important cultural commitment with a robust framework that supports both the industry and audiences now and into the future”.

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