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Taking Australian stories and skills to the world in the age of global streaming

Taking Australian stories and skills to the world in the age of global streaming
The New Frontier

The New Frontier: Navigating the Global Streaming Era for Australian Screen Content

In the ever-evolving landscape of screen production, a new discussion paper commissioned by Screen Producers Australia and crafted by Lateral Economics, titled "Taking Australian Stories and Skills to the World in the Age of Global Streaming," sheds light on the seismic shifts underway. As we delve into the intricacies of this paper, we uncover the critical challenges and opportunities facing Australian content in a global streaming-dominated market. This April 2023 paper serves as a beacon for understanding the changing dynamics of content commissioning and its implications for the Australian screen industry.

The Changing Tide of Content Commissioning

The dawn of global streaming has rewritten the rules for commissioning new screen content. Where once production companies held or regained extensive rights, including worldwide distribution, the scales have tipped. Today, buyers—be it TV networks or streaming giants—are clinching deals that encompass far-reaching rights over extended periods. This consolidation of rights underlines a power shift in an industry where a few large entities command the stage, leaving numerous smaller Australian producers navigating a David vs. Goliath scenario.

A Glimpse into the Micro-Economics of Screen Production

Diving deeper, the paper explores the intricate web of financing deals, highlighting the complexity of negotiations that span responsibilities, risk allocation, IP rights, and licensing arrangements. With the balance of bargaining power skewed towards buyers, Australian production companies find themselves at a disadvantage, often conceding more rights than historically seen. This shift is particularly evident as TV networks and streaming services demand rights, such as AVOD or SVOD and worldwide screening rights, often in perpetuity.

This paradigm shift not only impacts the immediate financial standing of Australian production companies but also their long-term revenue streams. With international streaming companies, often foreign-owned, holding onto these rights, the potential future earnings from successful programs that could have contributed to the Australian economy are now bypassed.

Looking Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities

The discussion paper doesn't just outline the challenges; it also invites stakeholders to ponder the future of Australian screen content in this global streaming age. As rights negotiation becomes an ever more critical aspect of the production process, finding a balance that protects the interests of local creators while catering to the global appetite for diverse content is paramount.

This conversation is crucial for ensuring that Australian stories and talents continue to shine on the world stage, contributing not just to cultural exchanges but also to the national economy. It calls for a collective effort from industry players, policymakers, and creatives to navigate these turbulent waters, seeking solutions that bolster the resilience and global reach of Australian screen content.

Join the Conversation

For those intrigued by the ongoing evolution of the screen production landscape and its implications for Australian content in the global streaming era, the full discussion paper by Lateral Economics offers a comprehensive exploration of these issues. We invite you to download the report, immerse yourself in the insights, and join the conversation on how we can collectively usher Australian stories and skills onto the global stage in this unprecedented age of streaming.

Read the full report here and dive deeper into the discussion on taking Australian stories and skills to the world in the age of global streaming.


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