Tuesday, August 11, 2009

AV Sector a Key Growth Area

I remember filling out this survey last year and the results have since been published. It's good news if you work in TV and film because this area has great potential for growth - that's what we want to hear in these straightened times.

Shame then that Bord Snip are talking about canning the IFB, which provides something additional to our TV channels. The IFB, uninfluenced by the need to bring in advertising, fullfils a truly crucial cultural remit in my view. Hopefully the government will think so too.

Here's the survey...

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) and PWC carried out a survey in 2008 which reveals that the Irish audio visual sector is valued at over €557.3 million, employs over 6,000 individuals and represents 0.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The survey is the first of its kind to represent such a broad range of disciplines in this sector, ranging from film and television through to animation, commercials, corporate video and online digital content. The survey identifies the people working in content production whether individually, in a company or in a broadcasting organization, the resources employed in the making of content and the total value of audio visual activity.

The results illustrate that the audio visual industry is a dynamic, highly educated and flexible sector, capable of demonstrating significant growth and value in the future. The results of this survey also played an important part in making the case to the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism to introduce new improvements to the tax incentive for film and television Section 481.
Key findings in the survey show that this growing sector employs over 6,905 individuals, 85% in the independent sector and 15% in broadcasting, which equates to 5,440 full-time equivalents (FTEs). The results also testify that this sector is vibrant with strong growth activity, with over 47% of companies interviewed in the survey established in the last 5 years.

The survey indicated high levels of convergence within the sector comprising of production companies, post-production companies and service providers, many of whom demonstrate a high crossover of activities. This particular report has gone beyond a normal sample level with very significant levels of response from companies and individuals and as a result the information is very significant.

This is the first time that a survey like this has looked beyond the annual production statistics, at the companies and individuals who are responsible for producing all the content, in order to understand the dynamics and significant trends in the sector itself. Interviews with freelancers working in the industry reveal that practitioners working in this area are very well educated, with over 59% of freelancers interviewed educated to degree level or higher and only 2% have no formal qualification at all.

Findings also show that funding from the domestic broadcasters is hugely important to the sector and is an essential component of the financial underpinning of the sector as a whole.
With the completion of this survey the IFB will now be looking to facilitate a sector wide Strategic Forum to assist the sector to produce a blueprint for the future policy in this industry for the next five years.

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