'Media Companies Struggling' Say Thornton

An international business and financial organisation has conducted an online survey to monitor recent productivity in the media industry.

Grant Thornton UK LLP, with offices in 30 locations nationwide, have revealed that 69% of key media figures are currently experiencing difficulty funding their productions in the current climate.

Their online poll was a live 'webinar' recently held to debate the options available to media companies to maximise their revenue.

The survey also revealed that 85% of respondents do not have all of their content tied up with one distributor, indicating the growing need to diversify risk during the current economic climate. 89% regarded distribution income as a significant part of their growth strategy. In addition, respondents felt the Asian (72.7%) market to be the most important sales territory, followed by North America (54.5), Europe (non-UK 45.4%) and Australia/New Zealand (13.6%).

Christine Corner, Media Partner at Grant Thornton said: "The TV industry is facing unprecedented challenges. A sharp drop in advertising revenues against the backdrop of a severe economic slowdown has inevitably impacted companies across the industry and there has been much talk of cost reductions and restructuring."

Corner continued: "Advertising levels are likely to remain flat for the best part of 2010 and the drastic fall in advertising revenues (by between 15-17% in 2009) has led to the need to increase deficit funding.

"We are seeing a growing trend towards companies seeking alternative sources of funding. These include overseas tax credits, advertiser funding and monies from NGOs and companies wanting to promote their CSR messages."

The panel, consisting of Peter Bazalgette (Media Consultant), Louise Pederson (All3Media), Justin Thomson-Glover (Artists Studio) and Thomas Dey (Corporate Finance Partner at Grant Thornton), also considered how companies can maximise income in their business through the monetisation of international distribution rights.

Corner explained: "Monetisation has developed out of all recognition over the last 10 years. The need for media companies to have multiple sources of revenue is the main driver of this growing trend. Digital rights are particularly of increasing importance to TV production company owners."

She concluded by stating that India and China have the key markets: "These are some very big territories that have funding and are likely to catch up with the rest of the market."

Their current model allows foreign ownership of 70% of a company.

"They also have significant government support," she added.


Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

05 August 2014
NI Firms Urged To Enter Best Managed Companies Awards Programme
Deloitte is urging all top Northern Irish businesses to submit entries for the 2014/2015 Best Managed Companies Awards Programme which will close for applications this Friday, 8th August.
06 April 2009
Mobile Firm's Ringing Success Celebrated
A Belfast-based high-tech firm has followed the example of international names such as Google and eBay on to a list of the world's top ICT companies. SLA Mobile - which recently signed a deal with Fox Media - clinched a coveted 'Red Herring' award at a gala event in Berlin, Germany.
13 September 2001
Mood of uncertainty surrounds world stock markets
With US stock exchanges closed until Friday at the earliest, the mood of uncertainty is continuing to overshadow Europe's stock markets.
19 November 2014
NI Firms Receive Recognition For Participating In SC21 Programme
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster has encouraged local companies to build on Northern Ireland's reputation for excellence in the aerospace sector.
30 November 2012
Help Given To Irish Firms To Boost Business
The Government is targeting the €80billion global supply chain of multinational companies in Ireland in an effort to help Irish companies win new business, grow exports and ultimately create new jobs, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced today.