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The Drama Report 2021/22

The Drama Report covers the production of feature films, TV drama (mini-series, telemovies and series/serials) and online drama programs by financial year.

The report incorporates data gathered through surveys and publicly available sources to give a comprehensive view of drama production activity in Australia. Data is presented for the past five years, 2017/18 to 2021/22.

Foreign titles are included if they are shot (or substantially shot) in Australia, or have post, digital or visual effects (PDV) work carried out in Australia without shooting here.

To provide more specific insights into production for different release platforms, Screen Australia re-categorised the titles that contributed to the 2021/22 Drama Report. These changes have been applied to the last five years of data in the report. It is Screen Australia’s intention to apply these new categories to Fact Finders in 2023. In the interim, caution is urged when comparing data to the years prior to 2017/18. Please see the full report (page 4 on PDF) for more detail on the changes.

OVERVIEW

Drama expenditure in Australia

  • $2.29 billion total expenditure in Australia — a new record spend driven by Australian features, foreign PDV work and Australian subscription TV and SVOD titles.

  • Record expenditure by Australian titles — $1.51 billion 66% of total expenditure was triggered by Australian titles that started principal photography during 2021/22.

  • 24 Australian theatrical features — $786 million a 59% increase on last year and 89% up on the 5-year average. Record spend was generated by significantly fewer titles.

  • 62 Australian general TV and VOD drama titles — $655 million

  • 24 Australian general free-to-air TV and BVOD drama titles — $208 million expenditure up 8% on last year, but 8% below the 5-year average. Hours decreased by 16% and were 22% below the 5-year average. Also a record for PDV-only spend, which totalled $246 million from 53 titles, up 48% on 2019/20.

  • 29 Australian general subscription TV and SVOD drama titles — $445 million spend, more than triple the previous year’s result, and more than double the 5-year average.

  • Nine AVOD, TVOD and other online drama titles — $3 million 13% up on last year, and 12% above the 5-year average and a 53% increase in the cost-per-hour.

  • 11 Australian children’s TV and VOD drama titles — $67 million 5% increase on last year and 1% below the 5-year average. Hours up by 12% from last year, but 32% below the 5-year average.

  • 65 foreign projects — $777 million 27% down on last year’s record spend, but 35% above the 5-year average, and comprised of:

  • Spend of $442 million on two features, two TV dramas and four SVOD dramas that commenced shooting in Australia, 44% down on last year’s spend.

  • A new record for PDV-only spend, which totalled $335 million on 57 titles, up 22% on 2020/21.

See the statistics section of the Screen Australia website for details and for pre-2021/22 data.

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