Women emerged as a ‘deeply underestimated economic force’ in 2023

The overwhelming success of the Matildas, Taylor Swift, and the Barbie film marks what Streem’s State of Australian Media Report calls “a remarkable chapter in the realm of media and entertainment”.

The report notes the emerging “recognition of women as a deeply underestimated economic force” during 2023.

“Across the film, sport and music sectors, women have proven themselves as powerful economic drivers, commanding audiences and revenue like never before,” the report reads.

The Matildas’ semi-final match against England in the FIFA Women’s World Cup was watched by more than 43% of the country’s population, a staggering 11.15 million people, according to OzTAM. It was the most-watched TV program since the measurement system launched in 2001, as well as the most streamed event ever in Australia, with 957,000 viewers on 7plus, as well as however many viewers Optus Sport managed to draw to their live stream.

Optus Sport doesn’t reveal its viewer figures, however Howard Rees, head of Optus Sport, told Mumbrella in August the match was the four most-watched soccer game in its platform ever – impressive given it was airing on free-to-air at the same time, and that Optus also hold the English Premier League rights.

Even 11 million is an underestimation, according to Dr Hunter Fujak, a lecturer in sports management at Deakin University, who combined the official viewership figures with those watching from pubs, clubs, through Optus Sport, and at dozens of ‘live sites’ across Australia, and arrived at 17.15 million people.

“This represents approximately 64% of the entire Australian population,” Fujak said.

Aside from breaking ticketing websites and teenage hearts alike,  Taylor Swift’s Australian tour was great for the airline industry. Virgin Airlines flight bookings to Melbourne and Sydney for the day of her shows in those cities increased by 656% – according to Streem.

Globally, Beyonce’s international tour amassed $579 million, pulling 2.7 million people across 56 dates and 39 cities.

“This data reaffirms the magnetic appeal of female headliners in the music industry,” the report points out.

“Moreover, the Eras Tour, helmed by Swift, was estimated to generate a jaw-dropping $5 billion in economic impact for the U.S. economy.”

The Barbie movie made a cool A$2.08 billion at the box office, making it the highest-grossing film of the year. It also dominated media coverage, generating 82% share of voice compared to the next three highest-grossing films of the year.

“This indicates the growing demand for diverse and empowering narratives in cinema,” Streem concludes.

“The success of these events, spanning separate industries across the entertainment media sector, underscores the increasing recognition of women as powerful economic drivers, with their ability to command audiences and generate substantial revenue.

“This trend emphasises the rising demand for diverse and empowering narratives, ultimately reshaping the landscape of the media industry.”


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