Barclays sees investors pile into Film & TV projects


The TV and film production sector is experiencing a period of phenomenal growth, driven by demand for British content from Netflix and Amazon Prime, according to new data released today by Barclays Business Banking.

The number of loans taken by SMEs to fund new TV series like Top Boy, Sex Education and The Crown has increased by 93%, and funding for new films by over a third (37%) compared to 2018, as home grown production companies expand to keep up with demand.

Game of loans

The bank has seen a 150% increase in the number of loans to TV producers in the North, and a 50% increase in the value of loans to film producers in the Midlands, as creative industries grow around the country.

Revenues at small and medium sized companies in the media sector grew by 11% – significantly higher than the 7% average revenue growth of SMEs in other sectors of the economy.

Barclays is the only High Street bank to provide financing for streaming video on demand productions. The bank enables producers to borrow against future revenues, helping their cash flow.

Research commissioned by Barclays reveals consumer behaviour is driving the demand from Netflix and Amazon for British made content. 

Over a third (37%) of people are more likely to watch a drama that was filmed in the UK, and the average Brit has at least two series on the go at any one time, creating huge demand for new content.

Top drama: Series like Top Boy find no shortage of funding options.

Half the population (50%) plan to watch Netflix next year and a third (32%) plan to watch Amazon Prime. 41% of people say they would feel lost without access to streaming entertainment.

Streaming success

Barclaycard consumer spending data reveals that spending on digital content and subscriptions rose by 8.3% year-on-year in October. A consumer is willing to spend on average £11.70 for their streaming entertainment.

Over a third (39%) of people admit to sharing their streaming login with family and friends, and almost half (48%) of millennials admit to using someone else’s account. 

Only 14% of people think Netflix and Amazon they should stop users sharing passwords, falling to nine% among millennial users.

Gavin Smith, Relationship Director for Tech and Media at Barclays Business Banking said: “Netflix and Amazon are locked in an arms race for new British TV series and films, and with Disney and Apple about to enter the fray, SMEs are ready to reap the benefits.

“Gone are the days when a small group of production companies in Central London dominated the market – the biggest growth is happening outside the capital, heralding a new Golden Age in British TV and film, funded by the big budgets of streaming providers.

“The weak pound and generous tax relief undoubtedly makes the UK an attractive choice, but it’s also the studio infrastructure and unbelievable talent we have in abundance that’s driving demand. Britain is about to fulfil its potential of becoming the global hub of TV and film.”

Danny Fenton, CEO of independent television production company Zig Zag Productions, said: “This is a halcyon age for content producers in the UK as more and more platforms emerge requiring quality programming. 

“With the global perception that the UK are the purveyors of quality product, it means it’s never been a better time for companies like Zig Zag to explore new revenue streams and new client opportunities.”