A recently released report by the Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU) on the city’s creative sector has some interesting insights into the size and importance of the screen production industry. This Industry Snapshot was last released in 2013. The new report includes data up to and including 2016. The key takeaways for the screen sector are:
- The creative sector contributed $2.8 billion to Auckland’s GDP in 2016 (screen production accounted for 24.5 per cent of this ($685 million).
- Overall, the GDP contribution of screen production grew from $234 million in 2000 to $685 million in 2016, an increase of nearly 200 per cent.
- The compound annual growth rate from 2000-2016 in Auckland was 8.4 per cent for the TV sub-sector, and 6.1 per cent for film and video.
- Screen production employs about 6800 people in Auckland, of which about 4000 are employed in the film and video sub-sector, and 2850 in TV. Overall, screen production accounts for 22 per cent of total employment in Auckland’s creative sector.
- Auckland accounts for 86 per cent of New Zealand’s workforce in the TV sub-sector (largely owing to the presence of TVNZ, TV3 and Sky) and half (49 per cent) in the film and video sub-sector.
- The creative sector has been more negatively affected by the 2008 global financial crisis than other industries:
- From 2008-2016, annual employment growth was negative (-1.0 per cent) in the film and video sub-sector, following strong growth (4.5 per cent per annum) from 2000-2008.
- The TV sub-sector was more robust, with annual growth of 1.5 per cent from 2008-2016. This is largely due to strong employment growth in cable and other subscription programming.
The report concludes that technology will be the creative sector’s main future driver. One example can be seen in the TV production sub-sector, where strong growth in employment has plateaued since 2013 – a possible indicator of the impact online media is having.
Changes in technology are likely to affect the screen sector’s competitiveness in terms of cost, and in turn productivity and demand for labour. With regard to film and video production, the demand for labour has peaked in recent years, with a shift towards self-employment. GDP growth has been strong for film, video and TV production – and screen production as a whole remains one of the most promising sub-sectors, including post-production.
NZIER report released
On December 6th, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) released their much anticipated report on the economic contribution of the screen industry. It highlights the importance of the industry to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, including positive spillover effects in other sectors such as tourism. It also shows that the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) continues to be valuable in terms of attracting international production firms.