Communications sector composition

 telecommunications services (47 per cent), publishing (except internet and music publishing) (15 per cent), broadcasting (except internet) (11 per cent), postal and courier pick-up and delivery services (10 per cent), motion picture and sound recording (5 per cent), internet service providers, internet publishing and broadcasting, websearch portals and data processing (9 per cent) and library and other information services (3 per cent).

Source: ABS 5209.0.55.001 – Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables, 2013–14, Table 5; BCR calculations.

Data link: Communications sector composition

The communications sector contributes around 3 per cent to Australia’s economic output each year. It comprises:

  1. telecommunications services (both fixed and wireless), along with the underlying infrastructure required to deliver these services
  2. terrestrial broadcasting, including free-to-air television and radio, and pay television
  3. Australian content production and distribution, including film, television and print media
  4. internet publishing, broadcasting and web search, including over-the-top services, and
  5. postal and courier services.

Telecommunications is the largest component of the communications sector, making up just under half of the sector’s economic output. Publishing is the second largest, making up around 15 per cent, followed by broadcasting and post.

Part of the services economy transformation

 The y axis shows output as a share of GDP, the x axis shows time from 1995 to 2015. The charts show that the communications sector is part of the services sector which is increasingly important to the performance of Australia’s economy. The share of services in the economy has grown by 5.3 percentage points over the past two decades. Over the same period manufacturing has declined as a share of the economy by 6.9 percentage points, and agriculture has declined by 0.7 percentage points.

Note: Excludes post.

Source: ABS 5204.0 – Australian System of National Accounts, 2015–16, Table 5; BCR calculations.

Data link: Part of the services economy transformation

The communications sector is part of the services sector which is increasingly important to the performance of Australia’s economy. The share of services in the economy has grown by 6.3 percentage points over the past two decades. Over the same period manufacturing has declined as a share of the economy by 6.7 percentage points, and agriculture has declined by 1.0 percentage points.

Part of a globalised sector

This is a bar chart. The y axis shows the proportion of businesses in the sector with at least partial foreign ownership (per cent). The x axis shows the time period 2006–07 to 2014–15. The communications sector has shown relatively high levels of foreign ownership over a long period. This reflects the industry’s globalised nature and the importance of foreign innovation. In 2014–15, 11 per cent of communications sector businesses were at least partially foreign owned, which is more than triple the average rate of 3 per cent for all sectors.

Note: Excludes post.

Source: ABS 8167.0 – Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2006–07 to 2014–15; BCR calculations.

Data link: Part of a globalised sector

The communications sector has shown relatively high levels of foreign ownership over a long period. This reflects the industry’s globalised nature and the importance of foreign innovation. In 2014–15, 11 per cent of communications sector businesses were at least partially foreign owned, which is more than triple the average rate of 3 per cent for all sectors.

The sector is innovating

This is a bar chart. The y axis shows the proportion of businesses that innovated in services (per cent). The y axis shows the percentage from 2007–08 to 2014–15. Shows the communications sector has a higher proportion of businesses who are innovative in providing their services than the average for all industries. 18 per cent of businesses in the communications sector introduced new or significantly improved services in 2014–15 compared with the all industry average of 14 per cent.

Note: Excludes post.

Source: ABS 8167.0 – Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2007–08 to 2014–15, Table 1; BCR calculations.

Data link: The sector is innovating

The communications sector has a higher proportion of businesses who are innovative in providing their services than in any other industry. 18 per cent of businesses in the communications sector introduced new or significantly improved services in 2014–15 compared with the all industry average of 14 per cent.

Labour is highly productive

This is a line chart. The y axis shows the index with 1995–96 = 100. The x axis shows time from 1995–96 to 2015–16. Shows over the past two decades, the communications sector has shown consistently higher labour productivity growth than the whole of the market sector, and in recent years that growth has accelerated.

Note: Excludes post.

Source: ABS 5204.0 – Australian System of National Accounts, 2015–16, Table 15; BCR calculations.

Data link: Labour is highly productive

Over the past two decades, the communications sector has shown consistently higher labour productivity growth than the whole of the market sector, and in recent years that growth has accelerated.

Multifactor productivity has improved but overall has lagged

This is a line chart. The y axis shows the index with 1994–1995 = 100. The x axis shows time from 1994–95 to 2014–15. Shows that multifactor (MFP) productivity growth in the communications sector has been slightly slower than that of the rest of the market sector for much of the past decade. The average annual growth of MFP for the communications sector was 0.5 per cent compared with 0.6 per cent for the whole market sector.

Note: Multifactor productivity measures the unexplained effect on output after the contributions of inputs (typically labour and capital) are taken into account. See glossary for further information.

Excludes post.

Source: ABS 5260.0.55.002 Estimates of Industry Multifactor Productivity, Australia, Table 1; BCR calculations.

Data link: Multifactor productivity has improved but overall has lagged

Multifactor (MFP) productivity growth in the communications sector has been slightly slower than that of the rest of the market sector for much of the past two decades. In recent years, communications sector MFP growth has accelerated and has overtaken the market sector as of 2015-16. The average annual growth of MFP for the communications sector was 0.9 per cent compared with 0.7 per cent for the whole market sector.