UK producer body Pact has revealed that indies were in truly swaggering form before the pandemic upended the global entertainment business.
The group’s annual UK Production Census found that producers generated record revenues of £3.3BN ($4.3BN) last year, up 11% on 2018. Beneath that headline, international revenue blasted past £1BN for the first time in the history of the census, rising 30% to £1.25BN, according to research compiled by Oliver & Ohlbaum.
Netflix and Amazon’s push into the UK market continued to be felt, with producers being commissioned to the tune of £337M by streaming services. This was up 20% on 2018 thanks to shows like Netflix hit Sex Education, which is made by Sony-owned Eleven.
Domestic revenues also reached a new high of £1.9BN, with drama accounting for 40% of commissioning spend following the success of shows including Line Of Duty and Chernobyl. Drama was 13 percentage points higher than the next biggest genre: entertainment.
Pact CEO John McVay, said: “It was only a matter of time for international revenues to break £1 billion. The creativity and talent that the UK indie sector has to offer is world class and British programming has true global appeal. Despite the obvious challenges that the sector has faced this year, I am confident that UK indies will weather the storm and continue this international success story.”
Sara Geater, Pact chair and All3Media COO, added: “These record revenues show very clearly that the indie sector has had huge success in 2019, reflecting the importance of our independent TV production sector to the international market. We can look forward to the production levels from UK indies returning to meet the global demand for the high quality, original content that audiences around the world love.”