SVOD companies dish out big money on Australian content, ACMA reveals

Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) providers including Amazon Prime Video, Disney, Netflix, Paramount+ and Stan have spent $335.1 million on Australian programs in the 2021-22 financial year, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed.

Detailed in ACMA’s third annual report of SVOD expenditure data, the spend spans an aggregate of  718 shows commissioned, co-commissioned or acquired Australian shows, and saw an increase of $156.2 million compared to the last financial year ($178.9 million).

Heartbreak High. Photo: Netflix

However, the growth was largely driven by Paramount+ joining at the fifth reporting entity this year, alongside greater investment in Australian adult dramas, documentaries, sports and light entertainment.

Commissioned and co-commissioned programs/titles made up about 76% of the total expenditure on Australian programs by all SVOD providers, coming to $253.7 million. These include Netflix’s Heartbreak High, Amazon Prime’s Luxe Listings and Disney’s Last Days of the Space Age.

At the same time, acquisition expenditure amounted to $81.4 million. Most titles were in the Australian sport, Australian adult drama or documentary genres.

Lastly, the expenditure also includes costs of supporting the production of Australian-made content, which comes to $333.4 million from commissioning Australian-related programs, producing foreign programs in Australia and providing long-term employment opportunities through local production facilities.

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In June 2022, there were 2,345 Australian program titles available on the 5 SVOD services. Genre-wise, Australian sports and Australian drama are the ones most readily available.

Outside Australia, all providers reported on Australian programs available in Canada, Spain, the UK and the US.

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