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

07 November 2019

The TV and film production sector is experiencing a period of phenomenal growth, driven by demand for British 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 like Top Boy, Sex Education and The Crown 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.

The bank has seen a 150 per cent increase in the number of loans to TV producers in the North, and a 50 per cent increase in the value of loans to film producers in the Midlands, as creative industries grow around the country.

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 British 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 Brit 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 is willing to spend on average £11.70 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.

Gavin Smith, Relationship Director for Tech and Media at Barclays Business Banking 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.”