Media Sectors Offline, Ready to Rebound After Coronavirus?

Within our successful industry, there are many organisations which are very much ‘business as usual’. During the Edinburgh TV Festival’s Controller Sessions – now online due to the coronavirus, Sky executives said their West London offices may be deserted (albeit a skeleton crew), but the Comcast-owned business continues to run as normal from their staff’s homes and with no apparent impact on the business itself. ITV, BBC and Channel 4 had similar stories with inventive ways being found to outsource production to presenters’ homes including, in the case of C4 – attaching Go-Pro’s to dogs to film their celebrity owners houses!

People’s desire for upbeat, escapist content has never greater. In the aftermath of the 2008 Recession, the creative industries’ yearly growth was double the UK average and we have positioned ourselves on the global stage as the go-to place for high-quality, talented cast and crew. With Netflix and Disney securing 10-year leases on major studio space prior to the pandemic, their investment proves that the UK’s creative industries have the power to thrive just as it always has. That makes us incredibly proud to serve all our clients.

In the short-term, individuals who work to put together the incredible TV and movies in the UK may struggle. However from dark days emerge positive change. Several commissioners have reported their drama slates are paused for the medium term, however they’re confident of a rapid reversal as restrictions are eased. ITV Studios are already looking at ways to restart production on their soap productions, Coronation Street and Emmerdale in the near future. The sector is on a short-term shutdown and productions are ready to kick off and deliver the new, quality programming audiences have come to expect.

Disney itself was founded in the midst of the Great Depression and several sectors are set to benefit from any coronavirus fallout. AVOD was already looking set to become one of the year’s big successes and while major brands are slashing their marketing budgets pre-emptively, AVOD will continue to benefit from a world stuck indoors and tight finances. The Public Service Broadcasters’ own platforms have already shown sharp increases in viewing figures in all demographic groups (albeit alongside traditional, linear television too).

We’ve seen the BBC load up on content that the audience can immerse themselves in and boxsets they can binge through ; one of our researchers is working through all ten series of Kudos’ Spooks drama. Commissioning slates are adjusting to restrictions, yet commissions continue on fast-turnaround and upbeat programming, all the while adhering to the social distancing measures. Producers on long-running shows, such as Hat Trick Productions’ Have I Got News For You, drastically reorganised the show to retain all the elements that have made it successful. Comedy by Zoom anyone?

While the wider economy looks gloomy because of coronavirus, with the creative industries and broadcasting, we can remain positive that we’ll see a return to the glory days.

Here at Lumina, we’re seen organisations are shifting away from crisis management and are beginning to look to the future. Strong and talented teams ensure a rapid return to growth and making the wrong hires at the wrong time will put businesses on the back foot. We’re happy to support businesses with no-cost consultations to discuss the organisation’s long term plans and goals and we all hope that we’ll be back stronger than ever – after the break!