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Production Businesses
About the data

Business and employment statistics in this section of Screen Australia’s website are based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Service Industry Surveys (SIS).

Service Industry Surveys are conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for various industries from time to time, and their scope varies depending on the individual survey.

In most cases, the ABS uses Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC) categories: see Industry definitions.

The ABS published SIS data for digital game development services for the first time for 2006/07 in Digital Game Development Services Australia 2006/07 (cat. no. 8515.0). The survey included all Australian businesses that generated income predominantly from the development of digital games for a range of formats, including, but not limited to, major consoles, handheld consoles, personal computers and mobile phones. As there is no specific ANZSIC category for digital game development services, the list of businesses was manually compiled by the ABS from information provided by industry associations, supplemented by web-based research.

SIS data for television, film and video production and post-production is available for six survey periods: 1993/94, 1996/97, 1999/2000, 2002/03, 2006/07 and 2011/12 (which also included the digital games sector for the first time). Between 1993/94 and 1999/00, the data was published by the ABS as Film and Video Production and Distribution (cat. no. 8679.0). Film and video distribution has not been included since 2002/03, with the ABS instead publishing Television, Film and Video Production (cat. no. 8679.0), which encompassed businesses mainly engaged in film and video production and those engaged in providing commercial television broadcasting services. Television had previously been published in Radio and Television Services (cat. no. 8680.0) in 1993/94 and 1996/97 and in Television Services (cat. no. 8559.0) in 1999/00. Separate post-production data was published for the first time in 2006/07 in Television, Film and Video Production and Post-Production Services (cat. no. 8679.0); previously it was presented as part of production data.

In 2006/07, the scope for film and video production and post-production services included all employing and significant non-employing businesses classified, on the ABS Business Register, to the film and video production and post-production services classes of the ANZSIC.

Significant non-employing businesses were defined as having an annual turnover of at least $84,000 for motion picture and video production activities and $70,000 for post-production services and other activities. They contributed 22 per cent to the estimated number of businesses, 5.4 per cent to estimated total income and 5.1 per cent to estimated employment in 2006/07 (accounting for 77.3 per cent of the total number of working proprietors and partners).

Non-employing businesses were excluded from previous surveys. However, top-line figures for 2002/03 have since been adjusted to include significant non-employing businesses. According to the revised estimates, non-employing businesses contributed 19.6 per cent to the estimated number of businesses, 3.7 per cent to estimated total income and 1.8 per cent to estimated employment in 2002/03.

On other occasions, the ABS has adjusted data retrospectively to correct statistical errors or omissions or improve coverage. Where possible, these revised figures are used in Screen Australia’s statistics.

Counts of businesses include only those operating at 30 June. Employment estimates include only those persons working for businesses during the last pay period of June (or the last pay period of the month specified). Financial estimates include the activity of any business that ceased or commenced operations during the financial year. Unless otherwise indicated, proportions are those published by the ABS.

When cited from the ABS, production activity is valued by totalling the production costs incurred in the financial year for projects completed or in progress during that year. In order to provide a complete picture, this includes production costs incurred not just by film and video production businesses, but also by television broadcasters (commercial and public free-to-air, and subscription), as well as subscription television channel providers with inhouse production. Expenditure by foreign companies in Australia is only included by the ABS when incurred through an Australian production company.

The ABS has urged caution in making comparisons over time, as the survey was not designed to provide highly accurate estimates of change.

Location and PDV Offsets

While the Producer Offset is administered by Screen Australia, the Office for the Arts in the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications administers the two other Australian Screen Production Incentives – the Location Offset and the PDV Offset.

Data on these two offsets published in the Production section of this website is provided by the Office for the Arts to Screen Australia.