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House of Cords

Local and global threats to UK creativity

The future of television looks set fair. Revenues are up, and a healthy dose of competition should be providing better services at more affordable prices to customers. Underneath the surface however, storms are brewing.

Increasing revenues are in part being driven by sports rights; OTT platforms are struggling with online fragmentation; broadcasters and production companies alike are finding themselves under increasing pressure to find the ‘next big thing’. In this paper we use proprietary research to paint a uniquely insightful portrait of the industry.

This research shows that by many measures the UK TV sector is succeeding. It is creating growth for the UK economy and jobs for people in the sector. But there remain issues that should be addressed as regulators and broadcasters seek to navigate toward a healthy future for the sector.

This paper explores:

  • How the TV industry has strengthened in the last two years, driven by three types of business model: traditional pay TV, advertising and subscription-funded video platforms. We analyse each of these areas as a basis for discussion on the creative sector.
  • The success of UK production’s global role, taking a deeper look at the impact of changing commissioning patterns, the threat to creative balance and the challenges of an uncertain future. Deloitte’s research suggests that the picture of universal success is somewhat misleading. In the increasingly borderless world of TV content, the industry cannot purely judge itself on its own merits. In fact, when looking at the sector’s performance at an international level, it is found to be lacking.
  • Despite the continued appeal of the schedule for audiences globally, viewers are paradoxically harder to come by. This is not because individuals are watching less video content, rather that they are watching more of it across multiple devices and multiple platforms. Behaviours among younger age groups are particularly arresting. Logically, attention therefore seems like a more realistic metric for advertisers than pure reach, but measuring it at the scale required to determine the impact of a national campaign is a challenging.
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