How big is the UK brand film industry?

By Steve Garvey, Founder of Moving Image. Thanks to Quite Frankly for image of crew shooting in Cambodia.


What is your estimate of the UK brand film industry? Hundreds of millions of pounds? Billions?

While you’re thinking, how many people do you think it employs?

How about its export volume?

The answer is that no-one knows for sure. Brand video and corporate film have not been surveyed since 2005, when two surveys were produced for the UK Film Council and the IVCA. Read on to see the 2005 figures.

Why numbers matter

Brand video needs a brand.

The absence of data has held our industry back. It leaves us without a clear identity and little idea of what our work contributes to the economy. Other sectors of the creative industries have a collective narrative that underpins their value.

I’ve written elsewhere about the damage caused by the continued use of the phrase ‘corporate video’. All the feedback has agreed, but we don’t yet have a clear idea of how to replace it. What would we advise a client to do?

Industry leaders discussed these questions at last year’s EVCOM Screen Leaders’ Summit, a gathering of the heads of 35 of the top 50 agencies. The leaders concluded that the top priorities were to produce an authoritative industry survey and report, and to agree a method for calculating the ROI of brand video and corporate film.

The good news is, there’s progress with the industry report. Moving Image is coordinating a research project designed to capture and analyse data. After consulting with academic institutions and industry bodies, we have agreed to work with a leading university on the research.

The aim is to have an authoritative industry report available in early 2019. Watch this space for more details.

So how big might brand video be?

In 2005, the ‘corporate video’ market was measured at around £1 billion by both reports. The UK Film Council report identified about 5,000 permanent employees plus at least 150,000 freelance days. That was about half the size of the TV commercials industry.

In-house teams were not included in the surveys and there are strong indications they have grown in recent years. There has been a huge increase in brand and corporate film output, although budget per project has no doubt fallen. Overall, it seems likely the UK brand film industry has grown since 2005.

How does that figure compare? The IAB’s excellent research shows that UK internet video advertising is worth €1.5bn, not including brand video and corporate film. That’s only slightly bigger than the brand and corporate film sector was 13 years ago – although internet video advertising is undoubtedly growing fast.

As the UK prepares, haphazardly, for the post-Brexit future, this is an essential time for the sector to present its export case. International awards schemes indicate the UK is a world leader, and its success should be represented in narratives such as the Great Britain campaign.

If you want to get involved in the brand video industry report, click or tap the button below. Moving Image is looking for industry ambassadors to raise awareness and generate engagement. We will need to work together to build our industry narrative and deliver it to budget holders, government and the wider world.

Click here

The reward? All of us working in brand and corporate film know that a strong narrative lies at the heart of audience engagement. A powerful, evidence-based story for our sector can only make it easier for you to unlock budgets and raise your profile. This holds true for in-house teams as well as agencies and partners.

And that can only be good news.