Data dump: Wellington rules film and Auckland leads TV in latest screen industry figures

Wellington or Wellywood as it is affectionately (or scathingly) known remains the film capital of New Zealand, while Auckland is the TV capital, according to information released by Statistics NZ on the screen industry revenue from last year.

The Statistics NZ breakdown shows total revenue for the screen industry in 2014 was $3.2 billion, which it says is relatively unchanged from 2013 (up $7 million) although contributions from different parts of the industry have changed slightly over the past year.

This information comes from the 2014 Screen Industry Survey, and includes GDP and labour market information. 

Feature films continued to dominate the revenue streams, contributing over 50 percent of all production and post-production revenue.

And not so surprisingly Wellington, home to Weta Digital, continues to hold its title as the film hub of New Zealand contributing 79 percent ($644 million) of all feature film revenue.

Auckland accounted for just over three quarters ($292 million) of revenue from television programmes and for almost 100 percent of broadcasting revenue ($1,403 million).

The report also showed that government funding increased while private financing dropped.

Government funding rose by 10 percent (to $258 million), including an increase of $22 million from public broadcasters. Government funding went to 156 businesses in 2014, 22 percent fewer than 2013. The contribution to funding and financing from the private sector dropped to $46 million in 2014, a decrease of 40 percent.

Overseas funding had been relatively constant over the past few years, with international sources contributing 43 percent of all production and financing in 2014.

“Of the $531 million total funding and financing for producing, 47 percent went towards television programmes, a similar proportion to previous years,” the report says.

Statistics New Zealand business performance statistics manager Jason Attewell says: “The total revenue is largely driven by a few businesses – those with revenues of at least $50 million – but over 91 percent of all screen businesses earn less than half a million dollars each. Many businesses in the screen industry are one-person contractors.”

He says to put this in context, 15,500 people were employed directly by the screen industry over the year ending March 2013, and they earned $742 million in wages.

“The vast majority of screen businesses (96 percent) were engaged in production or post-production work. In terms of value added, the screen industry added $1.1 billion to the economy, and almost half a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

Rather predictably, most of the international revenue came from the North American market, which accounted for over $400 of total earned. However, revenue earned from Australia increased for the third consecutive year in 2014. Australia is now the source of 6.9 percent of international revenue for production and post-production, compared with 4.0 percent three years ago. 

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