In order for the film industry to continue to grow while supporting more jobs, production companies need to be able to operate in an environment that allows them to monetize their content.
The film industry has been going through some changes, and there are many issues that need resolving in order to ensure longterm growth and job security. The following list is a breakdown of key areas that will ultimately impact film industry jobs and production careers in the coming years.
1. Digital Piracy
Yes we get it. This is bad, but in reality, not being able to reduce digital piracy will only further erode the revenue streams from content that is produced by production companies large and small. The surge in piracy for top shows like “Game of Thrones” harms jobs directly as lost revenue means less investment in the longterm. With so many films and TV series being downloaded illegally, there are thousands of jobs being lost because money that would have been earned is not re-invested in the people that make that content. It also de-values the product over time and people are less willing to pay for something they see as accessible for free. This has to stop to ensure future jobs are created.
2. VOD pricing models that work
The surge in VOD platforms in the last quarter of 2014 will change the business model forever in the coming 48 months. Pricing wars between tech giants and newcomers will have a direct impact on content as the audience shifts to digital. The pricing factor will have to be considered in order to replace physical sales and sustain productions in the future.
3. Content standards remaining high
Content standards have to remain high so that audiences get value in their experiences. The era of sequels will turn away audiences that want more sophisticated stories. VOD is going to force this trend as more choice and quality become a battleground.
4. Government support including tax credits
Tax credits are instrumental in boosting local production. Films and TV series can technically be filmed anywhere in the world but the places that give them the most benefit at affordable cost will win big.
5. Strengthening overseas co-productions
Co-productions can bring a lot of opportunity for film productions to shoot internationally and target wider audiences. The co-production environment should be strengthened so that foreign investors can play a bigger role in feature productions.
6. Access to new markets
Accessing new markets like China and India is a no-brainer. High growth economies in Asia will become increasingly important for generating box office revenue internationally. Africa is also a developing market that shouldn’t be ignored as the growth in these countries far exceeds that of western economies and will usher in a new era of opportunity for the creative industries.