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8679.0 - Film, Television and Digital Games, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/07/2013   
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents results from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey of businesses mainly engaged in film and video production and post-production services and an ABS census of businesses mainly engaged in television broadcasting, television channel provision and digital game development. This collection was funded by Screen Australia and was conducted in respect of the 2011-12 financial year. This is the sixth time the ABS has conducted some form of this collection, and the second time that digital game development has been included after its introduction in 2006-07. Previous statistics were released for the 2006-07, 2002-03, 1999-2000, 1996-97 and 1993-94 financial years.


Reference period

2 The period covered by the collection is generally the 12 months ended 30 June. Where businesses are unable to supply information on this basis, an accounting period for which data can be provided is used for data other than those relating to employment. Such businesses make a substantial contribution to some of the estimates presented in this publication. As a result, the estimates can reflect trading conditions that prevailed in periods outside the twelve months ended June in the relevant year.

3 Although financial estimates relate to the full 12 months, employment estimates relate to the last pay period ending in June of the given year. Comparisons between employment figures and labour costs figures should be made with caution, as employment may have fluctuated during the period.

4 Financial data incorporate all units in scope of the survey that were in operation at any time during the year. They also include any temporarily inactive units, i.e. those which were in the development stage or were not in operation, but still existed and held or acquired assets and liabilities and/or incurred some non-operating expenses (e.g. depreciation, administration costs).


CLASSIFICATIONS

5 The businesses that contribute to the statistics in this publication are classified:



SCOPE

Structure of output populations

6 The following hierarchy shows the structure of the populations contributing to the Film, Television and Digital Games estimates. There are three distinct populations at the broadest level, and each level is the sum of its components. Note that while data for Public broadcasters are not separately published, they are included in the data for Broadcasters and channel providers. Definitions for these populations can be found in the Glossary.
  • Film and video production and post-production businesses
      • Film and video production businesses
      • Film and video post-production businesses
  • Broadcasters and channel providers
      • Public broadcasters (not separately published)
      • Commercial broadcasters and channel providers
          • Commercial free-to-air broadcasters
          • Subscription broadcasters and channel providers
  • Digital game developers

7 Film and video production and post-production businesses are further split to describe businesses based on their reported activities:
  • Drama and documentary production and post-production businesses
  • Other production and post-production businesses

Survey of film and television production and post-production businesses

8 The scope of the Film and Video Production and Post-Production component of the survey included all employing and significant non-employing businesses classified, on the ABS Business Register, to the following classes of the Australian and New Zealand Industrial Classification 2006 edition (ANZSIC):
  • ANZSIC class 5511 Motion picture and video production.
  • ANZSIC class 5514 Post-production services and other motion picture and video activities.

9 For ANZSIC class 5511 Motion picture and video production, the scope included Australian businesses mainly engaged in producing films, videos and television programs or commercials. These productions are recorded and stored on a variety of analogue or digital visual media. These businesses are referred to as Film and video production businesses throughout this publication.

10 For ANZSIC class 5514 Post-production services and other motion picture and video activities the scope included Australian businesses mainly engaged in providing post-production services and other motion picture and video activities, including specialised film or video post-production services such as editing, film/tape transfers, titling, subtitling, credits, closed captioning and computer-produced graphics, animation and special effects, as well as developing and processing motion picture film. These businesses are referred to as Film and video post-production businesses throughout this publication.

11 For the purposes of this survey, significant non-employing businesses were defined as all non-employing businesses with an estimated annual turnover of at least $86,000 for film and video production businesses, and at least $78,000 for post-production businesses. These turnover thresholds were selected so that the contribution of significant non-employing businesses, combined with all employing businesses, made up at least 97.5% of the total estimated annual turnover for all businesses classified to Classes 5511 and 5514 respectively.


Census of broadcasters and channel providers

12 The scope of the census of broadcasters and channel providers was a subset of all businesses classified, on the ABS Business Register, to the following classes of the Australian and New Zealand Industrial Classification 2006 edition (ANZSIC):
  • ANZSIC class 5621 Free-to-air television broadcasting.
  • ANZSIC class 5622 Cable and other subscription broadcasting.

13 For ANZSIC class 5621 Free-to-air television broadcasting the scope included Australian businesses mainly engaged in the free-to-air television broadcasting of visual content, in the form of electronic images together with sound, through broadcasting studios and facilities. These units may also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs on a pre-determined schedule. Transmissions are made available without cost to the viewer. Businesses classified to this class on the ABS Business Register were matched to external industry lists of television broadcast licence holders to ensure complete coverage of businesses was achieved. With the exclusion of public broadcasters, these businesses are referred to as Commercial free-to-air broadcasters throughout this publication.

14 For ANZSIC class 5622 Cable and other subscription broadcasting the scope included Australian businesses mainly engaged in broadcasting television programs on a subscription or fee basis (such as subscription cable or satellite television broadcasting). The scope also included businesses primarily engaged in the activity of the provision of television channels to subscription broadcasters. Businesses classified to this ANZSIC class on the ABS Business Register were matched to external lists of television broadcast licence holders and subscription television channel content providers to ensure complete coverage of businesses was achieved. These businesses are referred to as Subscription broadcasters and channel providers throughout this publication.

15 It should be noted that the scope for these businesses excludes any businesses engaged in broadcasting as secondary activity, or businesses primarily engaged in broadcasting over the internet, or over mobile networks. Community broadcasters were also excluded from the scope of this census.


Census of digital game developers

16 The census of digital game developers included all Australian businesses that generated income predominantly from the development of digital games for a range of formats (major consoles, handheld consoles, personal computers and mobile phones).

17 These units were primarily identified using an external listing of digital game developers provided by industry associations, and supplementary research. The population covers a range of ANZSIC classes as there is no specific ANZSIC class for digital game development. In scope units have been found to be predominantly coded to ANZSIC class 7000 (Computer system design and related services).

18 In scope businesses will generally have the capability and staff to develop a digital game from start to finish, but may outsource particular components of a project to other businesses with more technical expertise (e.g. to animation studios). Conversely, these units may also provide game development services to other game developers, rather than developing full game titles on their own. These businesses are referred to as Digital game developers throughout this publication.

19 It should be noted that the scope does not include businesses that provide support services to game development businesses, such as animation or sound studios, or businesses that primarily develop gaming machines (i.e. poker machines). Businesses that primarily provide software development services, develop board games or interactive DVD games are also excluded from the scope.
Scope of estimates

20 There are two distinct types of data output in Film, Television and Digital Games: financial activity data, and production activity data. Specific types of business contribute to the different tables in this publication as described below.

21 Financial activity data - All businesses in scope of the survey, excluding Public broadcasters. These data are presented in tables 1-4 of this publication. More detailed estimates are included in data cubes 1, 3, 4 and 5 accompanying this publication on the ABS website. Different businesses contribute to the publication tables as follows:
  • Table 1 - Summary of operations, Time series. This overview table includes all in scope businesses (excluding Public broadcasters).
  • Table 2 - Detailed summary of operations, Film and video production and post-production businesses. Includes all in scope businesses in ANZSIC classes 5511 and 5514.
  • Table 3 - Sources of income, Commercial broadcasters and channel providers. Includes all in scope businesses in ANZSIC 5621 and 5622 (excluding Public broadcasters).
  • Table 4 - Sources of income, Digital game developers. Includes all in scope Digital game developers.

22 Production activity data - All businesses in scope of the survey, including Public broadcasters. These data are presented in tables 5-8 of this publication. These tables are also included in data cube 2 accompanying this publication on the ABS website. Different businesses contribute to the publication tables as follows:
  • Table 5 - Summary of production costs for film, television and video. Includes all businesses in scope of the survey, excluding Digital game developers.
  • Table 6 - Production of television programs. Includes all businesses in scope of the survey, excluding Digital game developers.
  • Table 7 - Production of film and video other than television programs. Includes all businesses in scope of the survey, excluding Digital game developers.
  • Table 8 - Production of digital games. Includes all in scope Digital game developers.


COVERAGE

Frame

23 The frame used for the 2011-12 Film, Television and Digital Games Survey, like most ABS economic collections, was taken from the ABS Business Register. The frame is updated monthly to take account of new businesses, businesses that have ceased operations, and those that have ceased employing.


Statistical Units

24 In most cases in the 2011-12 Film, Television and Digital Games Survey, the statistical unit used to represent businesses, and for which statistics are reported, is the Australian Business Number (ABN). The ABN unit is the business unit which has registered for an ABN, and thus appears on the Australian Taxation Office administered Australian Business Register. This unit is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business is simple in structure. For more significant and diverse businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical needs, the statistical unit used is the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). A TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU is classified to the relevant subdivision of the ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision and the TAU is classified to the predominant ANZSIC subdivision.

25 Further details about the ABS economic statistical units used in these collections, and in other ABS economic surveys (both sample surveys and censuses), can be found in Chapter 2 of the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).


Improvements to coverage

26 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABS Business Register, and the omission of some businesses from the register. The majority of businesses affected, and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size.

27 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses in the estimates in the periods in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the ABS Business Register. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

28 For more information on these adjustments, refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no. 1357.0).
DATA COMPARABILITY

Comparison with other ABS statistics

29 Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0) publishes annual industry data for the Australian economy at the ANZSIC subdivision level. There are important differences between the statistics published in the Australian Industry and Film, Television and Digital Games publications, and users should exercise caution when making comparisons between the two sets of estimates.

30 Australian Industry presents annual summary statistics at the ANZSIC division and subdivision level and experimental statistics at the ANZSIC class level. It shows the relative performance of each industry division and subdivision, and allows patterns of change or growth to be analysed across particular segments of the Australian economy.

31 Film, Television and Digital Games supplements Australian Industry statistics with a detailed examination of the structure, performance and activity of businesses engaged in the activities of television broadcasting, film and video production or post-production, and digital game development. As such, the collection is not designed to monitor change accurately over time.

32 These surveys use different industry coding practices. For Australian Industry, businesses are coded to ANZSIC classes on the basis of the activity reported to the ATO when registering for an ABN, or for more complex businesses, on the basis of information reported directly to the ABS (see paragraphs 24-25 above). For Film, Television and Digital Games, however, businesses are coded to ANZSIC classes 5511, 5514, 5621 and 5622 on the basis of detailed financial data reported in the collection. Adjustments were made to the data to remove the contribution of businesses that were found to be incorrectly coded to ANZSIC classes 5511, 5514, 5621 and 5622.

33 Businesses were also coded as Digital game developers on the basis of detailed financial data reported in the collection. As there is no unique ANZSIC category for digital game development services, a list of digital game development businesses was initially manually compiled by the ABS (see paragraphs 16-19 for more details). Adjustments were then made to remove the contributions of businesses that were found to be incorrectly coded as Digital game developers.

34 Other differences in results relate to further scope variations between the two collections. Non-employing units below the thresholds identified above in paragraph 5 are excluded from the scope of Film, Television and Digital Games but included in the scope of Australian Industry. Public broadcasters are excluded from the financial and employment estimates in Film, Television and Digital Games but are included in Australian Industry estimates.


Historical comparisons

35 While comparisons are made in this publication between 2011-12 and 2006-07, the reader should bear in mind that the collections were not designed to support accurate estimates of change, and exercise caution when comparing 2011-12 results to the 2006-07 results for several reasons, as described below in paragraphs 36-41.


Changes in scope

36 For the 2006-07 collection, subscription television channel providers were included in production activity estimates, but excluded from the financial and employment estimates. In 2011-12 these businesses have been included in both the production activity estimates and also the financial and employment estimates. Due to this change in scope, historical comparisons are not available for Subscription broadcasters and channel providers estimates.


Changes in methodology

37 In the 2006-07 collection, a number of channel providers were supplemented onto the ANZSIC 5622 frame. However these units were only required to provide production activity data, not financial or employment data. Note that this is a key difference in the 2011-12 survey, in that channel providers are now asked to provide financial as well as production activity data.

38 Users should exercise caution when comparing results to previous survey in 2006-07. For the 2011-12 survey a number of data items were expanded or grouped together to reflect the changing nature of the industry, and some items may not be directly comparable. Additionally, there have been changes to the way that some populations in the survey have been combined.

39 For example, the format of the data contained in the Summary of production costs for film, television and video (table 5) was published in 2006-07 under two categories:
  • Made by television broadcasters and;
  • Made by all other businesses.

40 In 2011-12 the same data items were published under two different categories:
  • Film and video production and post-production businesses and;
  • Broadcasters and channel providers.

41 The difference in these categories was the change in grouping of channel providers. In 2006-07 these business were included under the 'all other businesses' category, while in 2011-12 these businesses formed part of the Broadcasters and channel providers population.


Australian International Financial Reporting Standards

42 The new Australian International Financial Reporting Standards (AIFRS) were progressively implemented in Australia from 1 January 2005. As a result, a number of items in the financial accounts of Australian businesses have been affected by changed definitions, which in turn have affected both income and balance sheets. A range of ABS economic collections source data from financial accounts of businesses and use those data to derive economic statistics. There have been no changes in the associated economic definitions.

43 Since the implementation of AIFRS, analysis of published time series data has indicated structural breaks in series. The magnitude of such breaks, however, cannot be determined without imposing a disproportionate load upon data providers to ABS surveys and other administratively collected data. The ABS will continue to monitor developments and report any significant impacts as a result of AIFRS.


SURVEY DESIGN

44 A sample of 1,117 businesses was selected for the 2011-12 Film, Television and Digital Games Survey. Each business was asked to provide data sourced primarily from financial statements, mainly by mail out questionnaires. Businesses were also asked to supply key details of their operations by state and territory, enabling production of the state/territory estimates. Additionally for this survey, businesses were asked to provide selected measures of production activity, such as the number and type of productions and hours for which they were responsible.


EFFECTS OF ROUNDING

45 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and the sums of the component items.

46 Proportions, ratios and other calculated figures shown in this publication have been calculated using unrounded estimates and may be different from, but are more accurate than, calculations based on the rounded estimates.


FURTHER INFORMATION

47 A range of further information is available, as described below.


Related publications

48 The following publications present economy-wide data:

Other information available

49 The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on its web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

50 Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


Acknowledgement

51 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

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