The Autumn edition of Televisual Magazine is out now.
This issue features our annual landmark survey into the TV production market, the Production 100.
This year, despite worries about the wider economic landscape, we’re reporting a fairly sunny mood within the TV production sector. 87% of respondents say they feel that the future can only get brighter, or at least maintain its current temperature, with just 13% of respondents seeing heavy weather ahead.
The turnover of those top 100 production companies included in the survey bears that out. Even leaving aside the first-time inclusion of BBC Studios’ figures this year, overall turnover has jumped significantly, from £2.08bn to £3bn.
That jump has come on the back of what many describe as a golden age for TV, with more and more customers both in traditional terrestrial television and the big spending streamers. And it’s the rise of the streamers that has put a spring in the step of the UK’s indies. Although just over 60% of the average indie’s turnover is still derived from traditional UK broadcaster clients, most production companies anticipate that future growth will come from the SVODs, especially as new entrants like Disney+ join the fight for subscribers.
But the TV production business is not without its challenges. The rise of those SVODs is having an impact on the fortunes of the UK broadcasters as viewers, particularly the young, have their attention taken by streaming services. That’s impacting producers with many producers reporting UK broadcasters becoming risk averse as a result, reducing budgets and demanding more for less. One producer sums up the landscape as “exciting abroad, stifling at home.”
That theme continues with our report into factual TV production where producers are finding the message from the PSBs reacting to the rise of SVOD competitors is a demand for “less, bigger; or more, cheaper.”
This edition, we also take a look at the highly successful UK vfx market. A sizeable chunk of the biggest movies and high-end TV shows come to the UK for their vfx. It’s a sector worth in excess of £1bn to the UK economy that punches above its weight in what is a global market. It’s a talent-based business and that talent is also global. The average UK vfx house’s workforce is 33% EU nationals. While the vfx sector is bullish about its future, post Brexit curtailments on hiring EU talent are a worry.
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