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The domestic audiovisual production: economic values & industry trends

eMedia Institute | October 2023

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Trends in the audiovisual production sector

The industrial and economic-financial growth in the production segment registered in recent years is not sufficient for the vitality of the sector if not accompanied by an increased editorial/artistic/creative leadership of production companies

The development of the audiovisual production sector is determined on two distinct but integrated axes: economic-industrial growth and enhancement of the creative/authorial/editorial role of production companies

  • Over the last five years, the domestic audiovisual production industry has undergone significant economic-industrial growth, supported by increased demand, tax credit, and important extraordinary finance initiatives (M&A).
  • In the perspective of further economic growth, audiovisual production companies face an even more important challenge:

    Increase of the creative, authorial, and editorial role in the production process.

Development vs critical issues

The cost increase starting from 2020 and the growing shortage of technicians and workers is a real emergency for the sector especially in the prediction of a further possible market growth

Average hourly cost of TV & VOD feature films (one-shot works or serials)

The role of free linear tv operators in scripted genres is increasingly critical given the rise and “Productive leadership” of VOD operators
2020-2021 average hourly cost of TV & VOD feature films (one-shot works and serials) (€m)

  • Due to the shortage of resources flowing into the television medium (license fees, advertising), the two leaders of free linear TV – once the undisputed protagonists of the production of fictional works (series and films) – today face a double challenge, economic and cultural, in the scripted offering segment.
  • Budgets dedicated to the production of fictional works haven’t grown for years in a context of increasing costs and of high-budget production volumes, also created for foreign circulation.
  • The rise of global VOD operators has radically changed the rules of the market and the job expectation in all segments of the value chain “above and below the line”: creative talents, workers, technicians, and suppliers.
  • While collaboration methods are being sought to overcome market polarization in the future (VOD “global productions” vs. television “domestic productions”), the risk for linear operators of further losing ground in terms of TV series and films is high. A strategic front on an economic and cultural level.

The process of company acquisitions and mergers in the production sector continues – albeit on a smaller scale: also smaller companies are now involved in m&a activities