MPA’s data research team has been collecting statistics for almost a century

For nearly 100 years, the MPA Data Research Team has been a valuable resource for members and workers in the media, government and the general public.

Data efforts don’t date back to the association’s early years, “unfortunately,” says Julia Jenks, vice president of global research. But from the beginning of fact-gathering, the mission of those who gather and analyze “the numbers” has been rooted in MPA’s original charter of intent: an association designed to serve its members with impeccable accuracy and integrity.

Providing high-quality research is essential to industry’s government and public relations lobbying efforts and, as a central clearinghouse, the MPA is uniquely placed to process this data. Truly industry-wide analytics would be nearly impossible for one member to collect from the others, given legal requirements and duties to owners and shareholders.

Additionally, data from the all-important Bureau of Labor Statistics is not easily digestible by MPA voters. The work of Jenks and his colleagues is designed to be clearly read and understood, enlightening everyone and reducing prohibitive and unnecessary cost duplication.

Jim Orr, President of National Distribution for Universal, says Variety“The MPA provides absolutely essential data and expert insights on a variety of crucial industry topics, including market conditions, industry trends, anti-piracy issues, as well as an enormous amount of analytical information and effective advocacy regarding the global creative economy.”

2020 report shows entertainment generated $17.3 billion in global exports; its positive surplus of $9.6 billion is higher than that of the telecommunications, transport or health-related services sectors. Taxes from the industry amount to $31 billion per year from 2020.

There are 750,000 direct jobs in the industry; they support ancillary jobs, from caterers and equipment suppliers to retail and theme park employees. In total, there are 2.2 million jobs.

The information from the report on the effects of COVID from the March 2020 lockdown is interesting. But data for 2021 is still incomplete, so the ability to predict how quickly the industry will return to pre-COVID economic levels is limited.

Still, a preliminary look at partial 2021 data shows promising signs (“a ray of light,” in Jenks’ words), the most visible being a slight increase in permits issued in Los Angeles for production and location filming. – still a key signifier of film and television activity – and a steady rollout of films, series and specials from networks and paid streaming services.

Indicators indicate that the industry is on the road to recovery. And when the MPA data team issues a certificate of good health, you can count on it.

Sean N. Ayres