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Screen Industry Survey: 2010/11
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  02 April 2012
Data quality

Period-specific information
This section contains data information that has changed since the last release.

General information
This section contains information that does not change between releases.

Period-specific information

Population selection

The population for the Screen Industry Survey 2011 was 2,739 enterprises. This is lower than in 2010 (3,078 enterprises) due to the number of businesses that stopped trading or were not operating in the screen industry.

In some cases, information about contractors was supplied by their employer. This improved the quality and consistency of responses, but also increased the number of contracting businesses in the population. Please refer to 'Criteria for population selection' below for further detail.

Response rates

The target response rate for the Screen Industry Survey 2011 was 75 percent and an overall response rate of 77 percent was achieved.

Some businesses were identified as key units if their response to a survey question was considerable in the previous year, or if GST figures suggested that they would significantly affect the results in the current year. The target response rate was 100 percent for businesses identified as key units. In practice, a 99 percent response rate was achieved.

Data from one key business was not collected; however, analysis of other available information showed that historical imputation would sufficiently reflect their activity for the 2011 survey period.

Adjustments involving goods and services tax

Dollar values in the screen industry survey are published exclusive of GST. The vast majority of respondents give GST-exclusive figures. The remainder are adjusted during data processing.

Halfway through the reporting year, on 1 October 2010, the level of GST changed from 12.5 percent to 15 percent. As the survey collects only end of year figures, an assumed GST adjustment of 13.75 percent was applied where required.

Reference period

The reference period for the survey was the 2010/11 financial year. Businesses with balance dates falling between 1 January and 30 September supplied financial data for the year ending 2011. Businesses with balance dates falling between 1 October and 31 December supplied financial data for the year ending 2010.

Given the transitory nature of businesses in the industry, any business that stopped operating before 1 April 2010 or that started up after 31 March 2011 was excluded from the population.

Questionnaire changes

The Screen Industry Survey has been run since 2005. While key questions have been retained over this period, some questions have been removed and others added, as a result of changes in the information requirements of data users. This means that, from time to time, new questions are introduced and other questions removed. The key changes to the 2011 questionnaire were:

  • the introduction of counts of completed works, number of co-productions, and location of co-production partners 
  • the removal of questions on the breakdown of post-production activity and royalties as a percentage of producer income.

Tables have been added, altered, or removed from the Excel files that accompany this release as required by these changes.

Effect of Canterbury earthquakes

The Screen Industry Survey 2011 was the first collection since the September 2010 and February 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. A small number of businesses in the population were affected by at least one of the earthquakes. These organisations were excluded from the survey under 'compassionate exclusion'. Checks were carried out to see if certain sectors were affected more than the others, but no such impacts could be determined.

General information

Target population

The target population is defined as all economically significant New Zealand businesses involved in any screen industry activity. The screen industry encompasses all film, video, television, commercial, music video, and non-broadcast media activities in the aspects of production (including pre-production), post-production, distribution, exhibition, and broadcasting. All enterprises identified as part of the population are required to complete the questionnaire.

Data collection

The Screen Industry Survey is posted to all known businesses meeting the population selection criteria.

Criteria for population selection

For the purpose of this survey, the population included all businesses that met the economic significance criteria and fell within the Australia New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC 06) classifications listed below.

J5511 Motion picture and video production: businesses mainly engaged in producing motion pictures, videos and television programmes or commercials.

J5512 Motion picture and video distribution: businesses mainly engaged in acquiring distribution rights and distributing motion pictures and videos. These products are distributed (through leasing and wholesale channels) to a range of exhibitors such as motion picture theatres and television stations using a variety of visual media.

J5513 Motion picture exhibition: businesses mainly engaged in screening motion pictures using a variety of visual media. Included in this class are businesses screening productions at festivals and other similar events.

J5514 Post-production services and other motion picture and video activities: businesses mainly engaged in providing post-production services and other motion picture and video activities, including specialised motion picture 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.

J5621 Free-to-air television broadcasting: businesses mainly engaged in free-to-air television broadcasting of visual content, in the form of electronic images together with sound, through broadcasting studios and facilities. These businesses may also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programmes on a pre-determined schedule. Transmissions are made available without cost to the viewer.

J5622 Cable and other subscription broadcasting: businesses mainly engaged in broadcasting television programmes on a subscription or fee basis (such as subscription cable or satellite television broadcasting) to viewers.

J6020 Other information services: businesses mainly engaged in providing other information services.

All businesses must be on the Statistics New Zealand Business Frame, and be economically significant. The Business Frame defines a business as economically significant if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • has greater than $30,000 annual GST purchases or sales  
  • had more than two employees over the last year  
  • is in a GST-exempt industry  
  • is part of a group of businesses.
Additional population selection

To ensure that as much of the target population as possible was covered in the survey, the selection from ANZSIC classifications above was supplemented with businesses listed in The Data Book (New Zealand’s Screen Production Directory) and matched to businesses on the Business Frame.

Exclusions to the population

Any business primarily undertaking activities not directly related to the process of making or screening a screen production was excluded from the population.

Businesses and individuals providing acting services and recruitment were excluded. Other examples of excluded businesses include those providing services to crew (accommodation and catering), services to office management (accounting and legal), and services that support the industry but are not involved in screen productions (educational bodies, film libraries, and film trusts).

Businesses that supply services to the industry but not on an exclusive basis were also excluded. These businesses (which include builders and vehicle hire) were excluded as information is unlikely to be easily isolated from other business activities.

The following are ANZSIC06 classifications were excluded from the population:

G4242 Entertainment media retailing: businesses mainly engaged in retailing audio tapes, compact discs, computer games, digital versatile discs, or video cassettes.

N7211 Employment placement and recruitment services: businesses mainly engaged in listing employment vacancies and in referring or placing applicants for employment in any field.

L6631 Heavy machinery and scaffolding rental and hiring: businesses mainly engaged in hiring, leasing, or renting, without operators, heavy machinery and scaffolding (including mobile platforms) from stock physically held for the purpose.

Data processing

Checks were carried out on the data to assess any inconsistencies between questions. Where inconsistent data was uncovered, it was either corrected based on existing information, or followed up with respondents.

The following gives an outline of the imputation methodology used in the Screen Industry Survey 2011.

Unit non-response: occurs when businesses in the survey do not return the questionnaire, or do not answer all the predefined key questions (whether they are a producer, contractor, distributor, exhibitor, or broadcaster).

Non-response was compensated for by using weight adjustment. The weight adjustment is used to 'weight up' the responding firms to compensate for the non-responding firms in the same weighting cell. Initial selection weights are multiplied by a non-response factor to give the adjusted weight.

Weighting cells were based on ANZSIC06, annual GST turnover, and region. Separate weighting cells were created for key units within each ANZSIC group.

Historical imputation is used in cases where weight adjustment significantly over- or underestimates a unit which otherwise has little variation in its previous survey data. In these cases, the values from the previous return may be imputed for the current year to account for the missing data.

Item non-response: Responding businesses that did not complete one or more questions that they should have were treated as item non-responses and had their missing variables imputed.

Imputation cells and merging: businesses were assigned to imputation cells for calculating and assigning a new weight. Imputation cells were based on the main activity of the business, annual GST turnover, and region. Separate weighting cells were created for key units within each ANZSIC group. To ensure robust calculations were applied, minimum constraints allowed groups to merge imputation cells until sufficient responses were achieved, or constraints met.

Imputation of numeric variables: The imputation methods used were weighted mean imputation and donor imputation.

For totals and other key numeric variables, a weighted mean is calculated from linked responding units for each numeric linecode within each imputation cell. Data for non-responding businesses is then imputed with the weighted mean for their imputation cell.

Donor imputation randomly selects a donor from within each imputation cell. The non-respondent's data is then imputed with the value(s) from the donor. Donor imputation was used to impute components and percentages so that the distribution was maintained.

Imputation of categoric questions: For categoric imputation, the method used was donor imputation. A donor was randomly selected within each imputation cell and the non-respondent was imputed with the value(s) from the donor.

Quality of data

As the Screen Industry Survey is a census rather than a sample survey, the data is not subject to sample variability, and there is no sample error. However, other inaccuracies, such as non-sampling errors, may affect the data.

Non-sampling error occurs for reasons such as respondent error, interpretation variations, frame quality, and errors in processing. Imputation methodologies are used to incorporate data from non-respondents, which may introduce some error to results. While every effort is made to minimise these types of error, they may still occur. It is not possible to quantify their effect.

The risk of non-sampling error is reduced by careful design and thorough testing of questionnaires, efficient operating systems and procedures, and appropriate methodology.

The survey data has been compared with annual reports, websites, trade data, and other indicators published by Statistics NZ. Where the survey results differed substantially, the data was studied in more detail. In some cases, exact comparisons are not possible due to differences in timing or definition.

Interpreting the data

Sector breakdown

Throughout this release, the screen industry is classified to the following groups: Production and Post-Production, Broadcasting, Distribution, and Exhibition. Classification in these groups is determined by revenue activity (including expenditure activity in the case of the Production and Post-production sector).

Diagram, Structure of the screen industry.

The Production and Post-production sector can be further defined by the relationship of the business with the work being created. Producing is activity carried out on works that are the end-to-end responsibility of that business. Contracting is activity carried out on works being produced by another business. This means that a business may generate revenue from producing (work on its own productions) and contracting (work contributing to another business’ production) in the same year. Business counts for those involved in producing or contracting may change from year to year as business activity changes.

Revenue as a measure of industry activity

Total revenue is the measure used to define activity in the screen industry. Each business is asked to report their revenue in each sector, including the production and  post-production sector, exclusive of their relationships to other businesses.

While revenue is a valid measure of activity, it does not account for the relationships between businesses within the industry. In an industry with many contracting and sub-contracting relationships, there is a high likelihood of some double counting in the totals.

Employment counts

Employees are defined by Rolling Mean Employment (RME). This is a 12-month moving average of the monthly employment count (EC) figure. The EC is obtained from taxation data, and is directly related to PAYE. By this definition, RME excludes those who are not paid PAYE, such as contract staff, or owner operators.

Consistency with previous releases 

Contracting: is activity that contributes to a work that another business has production responsibility for. This includes the contracted supply of services related to any aspect of production or post-production activity. It also includes the contracted supply of industry-specific equipment or facilities. In previous releases, this was defined as a business type: "Contracting businesses". However, a business may undertake both contracting and producing activities in a single year. Referring to the activity, rather than a business structure, provides a more accurate understanding of activity in industry.

Producing: is activity on a work for which the business has end-to-end responsibility. This does not preclude the company subcontracting parts of that work. In previous releases, this was referred to as "Screen Production Company" activity, which could potentially mislead data users to believe that the total revenue of these businesses was limited to the amounts in this column. Referring to the activity, rather than a business structure, provides a more accurate understanding of the revenue sources and activity in the industry.

Regional business location: a regional-base location is derived from the data in order to provide some understanding of the regional distribution of businesses in the screen industry. This is determined by using the reported physical location of each business. In the case of a business having more than one location, the location that has the largest rolling mean employment count is used. This will mean that a business generating screen activity from more than one location will have all of that activity recorded only against the designated regional-base location. 


Data published from the Screen Industry Survey 2010/11 must conform to the provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. Statistics New Zealand must publish data so that no individual can be identified. More information on confidentiality rules is available on the Statistics New Zealand website. The confidentiality process may result in a total that differs slightly from the sum of the contributing cells.

More Information


While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.


Timed statistical releases are delivered using postal and electronic services provided by third parties. Delivery of these releases may be delayed by circumstances outside the control of Statistics NZ. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delays.

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