A report released today confirms something we probably already know – media and agency land is rife with young, white male hispters who all think the same. And, according to the report, it’s having detrimental affects on creativity and balance sheets, too.
The report by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and titled Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook Report found that the vast majority of people employed in media in Australia are young, only speak English and prefer to live in trendy inner-city suburbs (the archetypal hipster, if you will).
The study found that the average age of people in media land is 27 and 37 per cent of those are from Sydney and live in the eastern suburbs or inner-west. The second highest concentration was in Melbourne, with St Kilda and Richmond the preferred place to reside.
Radio was even worse, the report found, with 75 per cent of people employed in that industry were male and over 35.
The report said that the lack of diversity is affecting both creative output and, ultimately business’ bottom line. However, it does contradict another report out today by the Media Federation of Australia that found 42 per cent of media management jobs are held by women compared to the national average of 33 per cent. Read the report here.
“It turns out the Van Vuuren Brothers’ Bondi Hipster characters are alive and well in media,” says Megan Brownlow, editor of PwC’s Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook.
“The average employee in our media and entertainment sector is 27, male, Caucasian and lives in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs or the Inner West.
“Similar to the world we see depicted by media, entertainment and media businesses do not reflect an Australia that’s becoming more diverse by the day. It’s a case of chicken and egg and means the industry is not as well equipped for growth as it should be.
“Studies have shown diversity improves business outcomes. To move the dial in the entertainment and media industry greater focus needs to be placed on tackling unconscious bias and similarity attraction in recruitment.”
In better news, PwC’s 15th annual Australian Entertainment And Media Outlook showed that growth in consumer and advertising spending in the sector grew by 7.6 per cent in 2015, compared to 3.3per cent in 2014. The sector grew by 6 per cent globally and 7.4 per cent in the APAC region.
Here in Australia, the entertainment and media market is forecast to grow to $47.4 billion by 2020, an annual growth rate of 4.1 per cent.
Consumer spending on entertainment and media products is forecast to grow at 3.7 per cent to $A28.7 billion by 2020. Even “old media” such as newspapers and free-to-air could expect to snare their share of the ad booty – 10 per cent and 18.5 per cent respectively
Advertising spending will reach $A18.7 billion by 2020, an growth rate of 4.7 per cent. Mobile advertising will account for 41 per cent of the total internet advertising market by 2020, the report found.