A recession proof media?
Times are tough in the UK, and global marketplace right now. The media may not be grabbing redundancy-related mainstream headlines like the manufacturing, services, or banking sectors, but it’s no secret everyone from TV broadcasters to magazine publishers have been hit hard.
In contrast though the film world is something of an anomaly. Niche productions are becoming increasingly difficult to find funding for, and in Britain disbanding the Film Council hasn’t helped anyone, yet in its most industrial state movie-making is often considered the recession proof industry; when times are tough there’s nothing we’d rather do than sit back and indulge in some escapism, apparently.
There would appear to be more good news for film studios too, or more accurately rights holders, and TV executives are also keen to get in on the inflated deals currently being offered thanks to Netflix– an online streaming subscription service set to launch in the UK and Ireland early next year. ITV is currently in advanced talks with the service to draw up a contract offering the rights to its programme archives, and Channel 4 is also said to be interested.
In addition to this, when Netflix becomes available in Britain subscribers will have exclusive access to MGM’s portfolio, and the firm is reported to have offered some £60million per year to steal Warner Brothers stock such as Harry Potter and Batman from BSkyB. The result is a bidding war between Netflix, BSkyB, YouTube, and LoveFilm as each content service looks to restrict its rivals’ rights to lucrative movie and TV franchises. In the case of the latter, a sum of £25million was paid for a five-year deal with Entertainment One (therefore securing the Twilight vampire series), despite early estimates suggesting a value of around £8million, which is quite a price hike to say the least, and should make welcome reading for some of our broadcasting colleagues.