Seven West Media (SWM) commissioned new research to reveal the full magnitude of Home and Away’s economic and worldwide impact.
The findings were unveiled at a presentation on the current state and future of Australia’s free-to-air television sector conducted on Wednesday at The Ivy Ballroom in Sydney by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.
James Warburton, managing director and chief executive officer of Seven West Media, was the one who revealed the findings, which were based on independent study by economics firm ACIL Allen.
“Home and Away has been at the heart of Australia for 34 years, and this research reflects, for the first time, the show’s huge impact on the Australian economy, our television landscape, our community, and Australia’s international reputation,” Warburton said.
Over three decades, the show’s impact on the Australian economy, cultural landscape, tourism, and creative sectors has been documented by ACIL Allen’s Economic and Global Impact of Home and Away report.
Since its inception in 1988, Home and Away has employed between 1,500 and 2,000 individuals per year in front of and behind the camera, whether for a week or decades, and has generated a total of 12,890 full-time equivalent direct and indirect jobs in Australia.
The analysis forecasts that between 1988 and 2021, Home and Away enhanced Australia’s real income by $7.5 billion, or an average of $221 million each year, due to the economic impact and flow-on impacts to related industries.
According to the study, Home and Away brought in an additional $1 billion in export earnings, making it one among Australia’s most successful media exports.
The report also highlights the beneficial impact Home and Away has had on Australia’s image, highlighting how the show has boosted interest from both domestic and international tourists.
In a poll of current and former viewers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Zealand, 33% stated Home and Away made them want to visit Australia.
Ireland was the most influenced, with 38% of viewers admitting that watching Home and Away enhanced their desire to visit Australia. The show had a favourable impact on 36 percent of UK viewers, while 19 percent of New Zealand viewers claimed it was a factor in their desire to visit Australia.
“We don’t just make Home and Away because we have to as part of our local content commitments,” Warburton explained. The impact of good Australian content extends far beyond the number of people who watch it every day. It contributes to Australia’s social fabric. It provides information to voters. It demands accountability from the powerful. It is a storyteller. It gives them a job. It promotes tourism in Australia.
“ACIL Allen’s independent study emphasises the crucial role of free-to-air television in entertaining people and defining our national identity. Over the course of three decades, Home and Away has developed, broken new ground, and captivated millions of viewers. It’s a national treasure, and our A-list cast and crew are among the most dedicated in the business.”
“Home and Away’s economic benefit is enhanced because it is exported to so many nations,” said ACIL Allen director Jerome Fahrer. This is not only because exports have larger flow-on effects on the economy, but also because Home and Away draws international tourists.”
Home and Away is Australia’s second-longest-running drama series, with millions of fans throughout the world. Over the previous five years, the programme has been screened in numerous languages and marketed in 145 countries, with an average daily total television audience of over 1.1 million people in Australia.