Epic Studios staff were delighted to read about government figures this weekend that confirm creative industry growth. Figures suggest a boom in the UK film, TV and music sectors since mid 2016.
In a report published by The Guardian on Saturday, media business correspondent mark Sweney wrote that, “The TV production industry is enjoying a golden age of investment… underpinned by a digital-savvy UK, whose embrace of new TV and film services saw streaming and downloads of films and TV shows pass sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs for the first time last year.”
UK TV & Film Industry Success
The article states that the combined UK film, TV and music industry grew almost 11% in the second half of 2016 compared with the first. It also highlights a record figure for inward TV production investment (of £500m) alongside an export increase – due to sales of UK-made shows to international broadcasters. Sweney quoted a statement from chief executive of All3Media, Jane Turton, who said, “UK talent – be it writers, producers, cast, directors – are incredibly well-placed to respond” to demand for “ambitious, high-quality shows”.
A similar boom in the film industry has, to some degree, been attributed to the introduction of a 25% tax-break for foreign film-makers. This has encouraged Hollywood studios to shoot more blockbusters in the UK (including ‘Rogue One’, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and Ridley Scott’s latest ‘Alien’ offering – ‘Alien Covenant’). The tax break was also recently described by Pinewood Group plc chief executive, Ian Dunleavy as “a great success story” for the UK economy.
UK Music Industry
Sweney went on to describe the UK music industry as being “back in fine health”, citing a jump of 65% in streaming value (to £418m). This increase means that streaming has overtaken and offset a decline in legacy formats such as CDs and downloads.
Despite so many reasons to be cheerful and proud of our creative sector, some may disagree with his belief that the UK live music scene is also in ‘fine fettle’. Sweney refers to a “37% growth”related to live music in the UK between 2012 and 2015. However, Jo Dipple, UK music CEO, yesterday raised concerns over an overhaul of commercial property rates, to be revealed in tomorrow’s budget (8th March). She fears this could have a negative impact on the live music sector due to a rise in costs for venues.
Spokesman for the creative industries, Lord Clement-Jones, said: “Live music is facing a number of challenges at the moment, from venues closing down to the threat of increased business rates. However, data about the sector has so far been relatively scarce and mostly anecdotal, and so the much needed data collected by UK Live Music Census will help us protect live music going into the future.”
UK Live Music Census
The 24 hr UK Live Music Census, taking place 9th March, has been referred to as a ‘Springwatch’ for live music. It will track performances across the UK via volunteers made up of musicians, promoters, audiences and venues. Volunteers will be asked to record various details about gigs they have been to see or are involved with putting on, or performing at. This is hoped to give a picture of live music’s economic and cultural value and to highlight the challenges it is facing, with a view to informing policies that could support it.
Find out more and get involved at uklivemusiccensus.org!
Meanwhile a Government spokesman has offered the following by way of reassurance to workers in the live music sector: “For those that may see rises in their bills as a result of the revaluation, we’ve put in place £3.6 billion in transitional relief, and ministers are looking at how best to provide further support to businesses facing the steepest increases as part of the Budget on Wednesday.”Tags: Creative Industry, Creative Sector, UK film industry, UK music industry, UK TV industry