Statistics on DVD accessibility in Australia

Background

Since 2006, Media Access Australia (MAA) has been keeping a watch on the access levels of entertainment, rental DVDs in Australia on a bi-monthly basis. 

The methods used to provide the information below is simply taken from the DVD covers of rental titles at a local DVD outlet, with support from members of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA).

Within the time that statistics have been kept, over 2,500 titles have been researched.  Titles are checked for a number of things:

  • Information on captions or English subtitles
  • Information on audio description
  • Correct labelling
  • High colour contrast of labelling

All data collated by MAA is based on the information on the DVD covers.  Occasionally, MAA will hire some DVDs to spot check whether the disc contents match what is presented on the cover. Due to the inability to hire and check every DVD available, MAA would like to encourage DVD fans to contact info@mediaaccess.org.au if you find any information regarding a certain title incorrect to what is presented on the DVD’s label.

Audio description levels

The level of audio description on new release DVD rentals has grown significantly since 2006.  When statistics were first recorded they were regularly less than 5 per cent of new release rental titles.  After initial consultation with AHEDA members via the Australian Human Rights Commission, this rate has steadily increased to the current level of approximately 25 per cent.  Generally you will find that most 'Hollywood' blockbuster titles will have audio description, plus others.  2008 was the first year when all AHEDA members acknowledged that they were importing access files from international sources. 

MAA maintains a database of DVD titles that are audio described.  The database is searchable by genre or alphabetically.

Table of audio description trends of AHEDA members since 2008:

Distributor

AD trend

20th Century

Substantial increase

Anchor Bay

N/A

Disney

Substantial increase

Madman

N/A

Paramount

Increasing

Roadshow

Increasing

Sony

Slight increase

Universal

Increasing

Warner

Increasing

 

Captioning levels

The level of captioning on new release DVD rentals has been stable around the 55 per cent mark since 2006.  While some distributors have increased their levels of captioning on DVDs, other smaller DVD distributors have come into the market and are releasing titles with no added features beyond the feature itself.  The table below represents the captioning trends of only the members of AHEDA since 2008.  2008 was the first year when all AHEDA members acknowledged that they were importing access files from international sources. 

MAA no longer maintains a database of captioned DVDs.

Table of captioning trends of AHEDA members since 2008:

Distributor

Captioning trend

20th Century

Increasing

Anchor Bay

Increasing

Disney

Increasing

Madman

Increasing

Paramount

Slight decrease

Roadshow

Stable

Sony

Decreasing

Universal

Increasing

Warner

Increasing

 


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