The UK media and entertainment sector could be worth £53.0 billion ($65.5 billion) by 2033, up from £43.0 billion ($53.1 billion) in 2021, potentially worth £10 billion ($12.4 billion). ) could bring additional benefits to the British economy, says Comcast. European media and technology giant Sky said this on Wednesday, unveiling a new report that also urged the country’s political leaders to help companies seize growth opportunities.
The industry giant called on the UK government to “unleash the potential of the creative industries” by implementing five key policy priorities, some of which were outlined by Sky Group CEO Dana Strong during an appearance at the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention ( RTS). This includes proactively supporting the development of the country’s studio infrastructure by streamlining planning processes for new facilities, reducing costly administrative burdens and regularly reviewing tax incentives.
“We face a unique opportunity for Britain to become a global powerhouse of creative production, scaling up to meet growing demand at home and abroad,” she said. “If our industry and the UK government work together to invest in skills, innovation and key infrastructure, we will succeed in creating greater prosperity for communities across the country.” She added: “There is so much more to do, and Sky is determined to be an engine for that growth and drive creativity in Britain and around the world.”
Sky’s new sector report, in partnership with Public First and Oxford Economics, launched on Wednesday, highlighted that “the UK media and entertainment sector could be worth £53 billion to the UK economy by 2033 if growth continues on its current trajectory and with the support of the British government.” It could also create 40,000 additional jobs during that period.
Sky also highlighted its “important role in Britain’s cultural economy.” In 2022 alone, it supported contributing £20.0 billion ($24.7 billion) to the UK GDP, “broadcast 70,000 hours of top sports coverage and invested more than £130 million ($161 million) to bring free news to consumers to provide,” the company said. said. Sky’s new film and TV studio Sky Studios Elstree is expected to attract £3.0 billion ($3.7 billion) of new production investment to Britain in its first five years and create up to 2,000 jobs, the company also noted on.
“The research shows the important role that original British content already plays in the success of the UK creative industries, and how investment in better content, better tools and better customer journeys would further enhance its value,” Sky points out. For example, one in two adults in Britain are found to be more likely to watch a TV program if it is set in Britain, with 45 percent saying they particularly enjoy the British sense of humor and 30 percent saying they enjoy seeing British sights that they recognize. .
The report also predicts that international demand for British content will grow by 50 percent by 2033, “while Britain continues to control a disproportionate share of the international market,” according to Sky. “The value of direct exports is also expected to deliver a £2.0 billion ($2.5 billion) boost to British tourism as overseas fans travel to see iconic locations from their favorite shows.”
In light of the findings, the company called on the government to “play a more prominent role in the growth and development of the media and entertainment industry,” outlining five key policy priorities for success. Sky’s five policy proposals are examined in more detail below.
“Sky proposes that all new regulations be subject to an Innovation Impact Assessment, which requires government departments to explicitly consider the impact of new rules on companies’ ability to innovate,” the company said. “Currently, Sky’s technology resources are deployed one day per week based on regulatory requirements, which adds significant costs to our business. This time and effort could be better spent elsewhere, such as developing new services or optimizing existing business practices to increase productivity.”
Sky urged the UK government to expand the scope of the so-called Apprenticeship Levy to cover freelancers who can move flexibly between productions and to “use funds for wider reskilling and retention.”
Sky said it wants the government to “maintain a world-leading audiovisual tax framework by committing to a regular benchmarking exercise assessing UK incentives against competing jurisdictions, and by exploring the suitability of research and development (R&D) tax credits expand into creative endeavors. ”
The government “should proactively support production studio infrastructure by streamlining planning processes and reconsidering studio property taxes through the Valuation Office Agency,” Sky argued. “There are currently development proposals for 44 new studio spaces across the country, but progress has been slow as ongoing funding and planning obstacles need to be overcome.” Sky encouraged the UK government and local authorities to “embrace the economic and employment potential of our screen sector and streamline the planning processes that can bring this pipeline to fruition.”
Sky also called on the UK government to launch a national roadmap for internet protocols (IP) “in anticipation of a large-scale shift to IP distribution, including a coordinated effort to end digital exclusion so that people can can engage with online content.”