Industry trends

The changing face of our industries

The print, media, entertainment and arts industries are rapidly changing, and with them, many of our jobs.

Committed to our industries

Amidst this current environment of uncertainty, one thing remains constant – Media Super’s commitment to ensuring that we understand what is needed to support you and your industry to grow into the future.

In 2015, Media Super undertook a survey of our members across the print, media, entertainment and arts industries  to get a better understanding of your working journey, what you think your job and industry will look like in the future, and how we can make sure your super needs are being met both now and later in life. More than 2,550 members completed the in-depth online survey, providing us with valuable insights that will help shape the future of our member support and services.

Challenges ahead

Across all our industries, it has been established that changes and evolution have presented challenges and Media Super members agree on what the greatest challenges are.

In news and media, it’s declining revenue and shrinking editorial departments; in the arts and entertainment industries, it’s a lack of well-paying jobs and declining public investment; and in print, packaging and visual communications, it’s the increased popularity of digital printing and a declining demand for services.

In the media sector, almost half our members expressed they feel pessimistic about the future of their industry. The biggest issues are declining editorial staff and departments, declining  revenues, and the decline in the quality and accuracy of content being published, which ultimately undermines the professionalism of the industry. Forty per cent of journalists and media professionals find themselves regularly giving work away for free in order to advance their career or secure a paying job. 

Printers and packagers overall feel less pessimistic about their industry; however, it still remains high at 41 per cent. The biggest issues facing the printing industry today are the increasing popularity of digital printing over traditional printing, declining demand for services, and decreasing revenues and low profit margins. For the workers, job security remains a huge issue; with 57 per cent concerned they may lose their job or main source of income in the next 12 months.

The biggest issues facing Media Super’s entertainment and arts industry members are a lack of well-paying jobs, the decline in public investment, and declining revenues. An impassioned bunch, the majority of entertainment and arts professionals believe that the sector is hugely important to Australian culture; however, only 17 per cent say that the Australian Government respects and values the arts. Shockingly, only 9 per cent rate the government’s performance in investing and supporting the arts as good, while 64 per cent believe it’s poor. Sadly 64 per cent of those working in entertainment and arts are also regularly giving work away for free in the hope of furthering their career or securing a paying job, and 59 per cent are concerned they might lose their job or main source of income in the next twelve months. 

Not all doom and gloom

This all seems very bleak, but despite the challenges facing these industries, there is a certain optimism about the future. Despite the downsides, the digital age brings exciting new opportunities, encouraging career growth and innovation across all our industries.

Seventy-two per cent of those under 30 in the news and media industry feel positive about the future. This likely points to the predominance of younger journalists in digital newsrooms, especially with new roles such as social media managers and SEO specialists emerging. Sixty-two per cent of survey respondents agreed with the line that they were “embracing the opportunities of a changing industry and look forward to developing my career”.

Within print, packaging and visual communications, 70 per cent of those aged under 30 have a positive outlook on the future. Last year, Media Super helped Printing Industries’ Association of Australia choose the Young Executive of the Year, which was a close call between all the finalists as their appetite for innovation (ranging from 3D printing to augmented reality) and their enthusiasm proves that the future of print is in great hands.

The industry that is the most enthusiastic about the internet and digital age was entertainment and arts, with 75 per cent of members recognising that the internet presents fantastic new opportunities for many artists, providing them with the means to reach new audiences, potentially on a global scale, and there are a whole host of new, non-traditional avenues for producing work. Various social media platforms and online forums have also opened up new channels for artists to connect and collaborate with each other and find new inspiration.

The road to retirement

The most concerning part of the research across all industries is the number of workers who feel unprepared for retirement.

Sixty-two per cent of members in the entertainment and arts sector don’t feel as they will have enough superannuation to live a comfortable retirement, followed by 49 per cent from the journalism and news media industry, and 46 per cent from printing and packaging.

In industries such as print, media, entertainment and arts people are often switching jobs, working casual hours, taking up freelance jobs or being self-employed.  We understand that super can be tricky with a variable income and competing financial priorities. But, there are simple steps you can take to increase your super savings: combine* your super accounts, make voluntary contributions, and get some advice.

As a member, you have access to a team of Media Super Financial Planners^ around the country, and you are entitled to an initial one-hour consultation free of charge. This initial consultation will help you understand how the financial planner may be able to assist you, your planner will discuss the nature of any advice they might recommend and provide a fixed price fee quote for your consideration. Our planners are dedicated to providing high quality, personalised advice and do not receive commissions.

Almost half our members across all our industries say they have chosen to be part of Media Super because we’re a part of their industry and understand their needs – and we do simply exist to benefit you, our members, and will continue to do so.

*Before making a decision to combine your superannuation, you should consider any penalties, change to insurance cover or loss of benefits that may apply and, if necessary, consult a qualified financial adviser.

^Media Super financial planners are authorised representatives of Industry Fund Services Pty Ltd ABN 54 007 016 195, AFSL 23214  

For more info about trends in your industry, view or download the infographic.


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