With more video being produced than ever before and an increasing array of platforms on which to consume content, the DPP set about examining how today’s production companies work.
Some 57 companies participated in the DPP’s survey, which formed the basis of last week’s Production Business event.
A key finding of the survey pointed towards the emergence of a growing band of small independent production companies focussed on the creation of branded and promotional content, with some key differences between the two types of organisation.
The survey also covered cloud storage, the commercialisation of IP and raised awareness on the need to increase security regulations across the board.
Harrison highlighted the distinction between companies that produce content exclusively for broadcasters and the companies that don’t.
He said: “The market for video content grows day by day; but the industry has a very poor understanding of how production actually works.
“We wanted to provide the insight to help both producers and suppliers better understand how the business of content creation is evolving and where the opportunities now are.”
Rubber Republic is a studio that specialises in creating shareable content for digital platforms. Creative Director Matt Golding explained that there are fewer barriers to entry for those who want to work on non-broadcast content, whereas broadcast commissions require contacts within broadcasters.
According to the survey, 58% of broadcast production companies own and operate post production kit. That compares to 80% of non-broadcast organisations.
For those working on non-broadcast work, only 13% of projects are outsourced while those working on traditional broadcast saw 58% of work outsourced.
DPP Managing Director Mark Harrison explained that those working on programmes such as landmark dramas require specialised edits. However, non-broadcaster production companies are thought to have the ability and confidence to operate post production in-house at a higher level.
Oomami Workflow Consultant Nic Kemp said that in her experience, smaller companies which have a mix of multi-skilled people across their workforce tend to have stronger creative and technical operations.
She said: “There is definitely a correlation with smaller companies and multitasking, from my experience I really like the content that comes out; it’s often very creative.”
The survey revealed that 65% of companies use portable hard drives to store content even though statistics suggest they shouldn’t. And that only 38% use cloud storage, a figure which surprised Harrison.
Kemp said: “We see production companies working off portable hard drives as very unorganised. People know and understand it is not the way forward but because they’re not prepared to spend that sort of money on a project-by-project basis it’s hard for companies to spend.”
[The requirements for] uploading and downloading video are huge…from what we are seeing people are generally keen on it but know-how and budget outlay is a barrier.”
There was notably a perception issue on security from the results. Strauss indicated that those surveyed 86% said they’d be “very good or well prepared” for a data disaster, however only 33% train staff.
Only one third of production companies were found to give staff regular security training.
Broadcast companies are likely to have an IT department but smaller are less likely. Panellists concluded that whilst security is a major factor in the business strategies, ultimately revenue remains the top of the agenda.
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