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Screen industry income as flat as a pancake

The Screen Industry Survey (SIS) results, released today, cover the back half 2013, when the production industry was experiencing considerable stress, through the period when government announced changes to incentive schemes, and the first months after those changes were implemented.


The overall sector earnings grew $7 million over the year, a negligible amount overall. What would be a very exciting Powerball win for an individual was less than one quarter of one per cent of the industry’s $3.155 billion income.

Despite the headlines, ascribing a $3.2 billion value to the screen industry for the year, a much smaller number than that reflects the production spend. Once the income of Peter Jackson’s Miramar cluster is removed, the picture is as dire as many in the industry at the time will recall.

Released just after Easter, the numbers show are no real signs of an industry rising from the dead. When the figures are released next year, there should be evidence of the positive results of changes to government incentive schemes. Those may be offset in the headline numbers by the winding down of The Hobbit.

$644 million, or 79%, of the film production spend was in Wellington. The figures were reversed for TV, with Auckland benefitting from three quarters of TV production spending. Broadcasters saw a small rise in income from advertising and subscriptions. Perhaps surprisingly distributors also saw income rise, by over 10%.

The graphic supplied by Stats NZ paints a not so inspiring picture, showing that the only sector of the screen industry that’s grown every year for the last four years has been income for TV broadcasters: advertising, programme sponsorships and subscription fees.

The screen industry sector seeing most growth over the last few years, game development, is not included in the Stats NZ Screen Industry Survey.

Exhibition income was down, in line with figures released by the MPDA (although the reporting periods are different to those of todays’s SIS).

Gross Revenue by sector
Revenue, $000s
Sector 2013 2014 % change
Production & post-production 1,462 1,435 -2
Production 799 829 4
Post-production 663 587 -12
TV broadcasting 1,478 1,407 2
Distribution 138 153 11
Exhibition 171 161 -6
TOTALS 3,148 3,155 0

The full set of tables of income, sliced and diced in a variety of ways, can be downloaded from Stats NZ.

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