SVOD growth impacts filming costs

Channel 4

The rapid growth of SVOD platforms has had a dramatic effect on the cost of production in the UK, according to the BBC and Channel 4.

Channel 4’s average production costs have risen by more than 100% in recent years, with an average budget increasing from £725,000 per hour in 2013 to £1.5m per hour in 2017, according to Deadline.

Comments and figures were submitted to the House of Lords Communications Committee Inquiry on Public Service Broadcasting In The Age Of Video-On-Demand.

Costs have been driven up partly by an increase in demand for skilled crew, with Netflix and Amazon among the major SVOD platforms scaling up production in the UK.

Both the BBC and Channel 4 have worked on co-productions with SVODs, but Channel 4 warned that this model is not always appropriate, particularly for projects that have a specific regional focus within the UK.

Channel 4 also called on the major SVOD platforms to be more transparent about their use of production resources in the UK – and specifically studios – so that the development of the UK’s infrastructure could be more carefully planned.

Attribution remains a sticking point for the BBC and Channel 4, feeding into the larger controversy regarding the use of the ‘Netflix Original’ brand, a label that is frequently used by the SVOD giant even in circumstances when the company has not been directly involved with a show’s production.

Channel 4 reiterated plans to boost its own brand awareness and labelling for future productions.


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