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Game of Loans – Barclays sees phenomenal increase in TV and film production funding

Posted: 8th November 2019
  • 93 per cent increase in the number of Barclays loans taken to fund new UK TV productions.
  • Consumers in Scotland willing to pay on average £11.00 for their streaming entertainment.
  • Over a third of people admit to sharing their streaming login with family and friends, and half of millennials admit to using someone else’s account.

The TV and film production sector is experiencing a period of phenomenal growth, driven by demand for UK content from Netflix and Amazon Prime, according to new data released today by Barclays Business Banking.

The number of loans taken by SMEs to fund new TV series has increased by 93 per cent, and funding for new films by over a third (37 per cent) compared to 2018, as home grown production companies expand to keep up with demand.

Revenues at small and medium sized companies in the media sector grew by 11 per cent – significantly higher than the 7 per cent average revenue growth of SMEs in other sectors of the economy.

Barclays is the only High Street bank to provide financing for streaming video on demand productions. The bank enables producers to borrow against future revenues, helping their cash flow.

Research commissioned by Barclays reveals consumer behaviour is driving the demand from Netflix and Amazon for UK made content. Over a third (37 per cent) of people are more likely to watch a drama that was filmed in the UK, and the average person in the UK has at least two series on the go at any one time, creating huge demand for new content.

Half the population (50 per cent) plan to watch Netflix next year and a third (32 per cent) plan to watch Amazon Prime. 41 per cent of people say they would feel lost without access to streaming entertainment.

Barclaycard consumer spending data reveals that spending on digital content and subscriptions rose by 8.3 per cent year-on-year in October. A consumer in Scotland is willing to spend on average £11.00 for their streaming entertainment.

Over a third (39 per cent) of people admit to sharing their streaming login with family and friends, and almost half (48 per cent) of millennials admit to using someone else’s account. Only 14 per cent of people think Netflix and Amazon they should stop users sharing passwords, falling to nine per cent among millennial users.

Stuart Brown, Head of Branch and Business Banking Scotland said: “Netflix and Amazon are locked in an arms race for new British TV series and films, and with Disney and Apple about to enter the fray, SMEs are ready to reap the benefits.

“Gone are the days when a small group of production companies in Central London dominated the market – the biggest growth is happening outside the capital, heralding a new Golden Age in British TV and film, funded by the big budgets of streaming providers.

“The weak pound and generous tax relief undoubtedly makes the UK an attractive choice, but it’s also the studio infrastructure and unbelievable talent we have in abundance that’s driving demand. Britain is about to fulfil its potential of becoming the global hub of TV and film.”

Danny Fenton, CEO of independent television production company Zig Zag Productions, said: “This is a halcyon age for content producers in the UK as more and more platforms emerge requiring quality programming. With the global perception that the UK are the purveyors of quality product, it means it’s never been a better time for companies like Zig Zag to explore new revenue streams and new client opportunities.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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