Until streamers and policymakers offer significant support, there’ll continue to be paltry Australian content on streaming services, writes Australian Writers Guild executive director Claire Pullen.
Global streaming services have transformed the way the world not only consumes film and TV but also produces them. In Australia, 78% of households subscribe to at least one streaming service and we spend around $2 billion a year on subscriptions, yet the average amount of Australian content on those streaming services is less than 2%. In some cases, it’s zero.
Is that because Australia is not capable of making high-quality film and TV for domestic consumption? no. Australian film and TV rate extraordinarily well domestically. In fact, it’s not just Australians that like our stories — our cultural product is highly exportable, with almost half of Australia’s production companies generating export revenue, compared with an average of 7.6% for Australian businesses.
The amount of local content on streaming services could be a lot higher with investment from streamers and the right policy framework from government. The Koreans are exporting their film, TV and music, the Nordic countries successfully export Scandi-noir; it is well within the capacity of the 12th wealthiest nation in the world to export what others call our “blue-sky drama”, “desert noir” — a genre all of our own — as well as other high-quality content.