Televisual’s annual survey of the corporate and branded film production companies is hot off the press and makes interesting reading. We’ve had a look at the industry data.
Four trends stand out.
Profits count more than revenue
Producers sacrificed revenue growth for profits by reducing headcount, staying agile in the face of uncertainty over investment in moving image by clients. In 2014 there was a spike in the number of permanent staff employed, but it is now returning to its long term average of a little over 30.
Budgets on the rise
Where budgets were available, they either rose or stayed the same. This is positive as the long term trend for reported project budgets is flat. The number of projects delivered is not reported, but anecdotal evidence indicates it continues to grow.
It’s a UK thing
There’s no sign of a post-Brexit referendum export boom as producers deliver three quarters of their work to commissioners in the UK. It’s a figure that has remained steady for years.
Full service is growing
Moving image work continues its slow decline as a proportion of work. It’s now 69%, down 10% in six years. This reflects a trend for brands to invest in a wider range of activities, many of which did not exist a few years ago. Producers are picking up some of that extra work.
Good news, and less good news
So it’s a pretty balanced picture, perhaps less dramatically disrupted this year than, for example, the ad agency world. No doubt that’s because brand film producers have grown accustomed to rapid change, especially since the 2008 economic crisis knocked budgets for six. Things never got back to ‘normal’, and every player needs to keep evolving rapidly.
Producers are staying light on their feet, responding rapidly to new opportunities such as social video. Managed overheads and a flexible, video-centric offering give them a shot at elusive budgets. While there is a growing trend for moving image content to be produced in-house, the need for specialised outside expertise has never been stronger.
Film-makers who adapt can prosper, as shown by new entrants gatecrashing the party. There is opportunity, driven by the continuing tidal wave of digital video for brands. It’s not an easy life, but neither is it dull. Outstanding work continues to be produced.
Brand film producers are ready for anything.
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