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Insights

Key trends in the audio visual and live entertainment sectors

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How we consume entertainment is changing rapidly. From the sports events we attend, to the TV we watch, to the music concerts we enjoy, we are demanding more.  Greater immersive experiences, full-day entertainment and hours of original streamed content at our fingertips.

This is creating high levels of demand for media audio visual ‘AV’ across the industry. We talk to Paragon SME Lending Technology Business Development Manager, Jon Openshaw, about what he’s seeing from clients in the sector.

What are the key trends that will define the TV, film, drama, Audio Visual, live events and media sectors in 2022?

The UK ‘creative industries’ show strong growth, the fastest in the UK Economy, in all of the areas listed above. Many are now beyond their pre-Covid ‘growth’ levels, which were already at a peak! 

They are being driven by a number of reasons. We, as the consumer, want more quality and best value entertainment packages; anything from the full-day experiences for an 80 minute game of rugby, through to the personal and comfortable facilities of the local sofa ‘boutique’ cinema. 

We also demand ‘value for money’ entertainment through quality TV subscription programmes; for example, being able to stream 15 hours of quality box set dramas.  

Content is currently in short supply and some subscription streaming companies are losing subscribers as others have more choice with new and original content.

How is the sector adapting to the return of live events?

There is a drive towards bigger, stronger, better. As referenced above, people now expect an exciting live experience regardless of whether they are at a Premier League football match, a rugby international or a concert. They expect good quality audio visual content and additional entertainment other than the main event.

Live and outside broadcast productions require hi-tech gear to operate the broadcast cameras, the sound systems, the LED Video Walls, PA Systems and the LED lights and spots.

However, resources are stretched both in terms of workforce and equipment. The pandemic has placed huge pressure on both and there are supply shortages across the sector, as with other industries today.  A lot of the technology and equipment used lacks shortages in ‘chip’ technology, which doesn’t show any signs of relief until 2024!  Demand far exceeds supply in the creative space!

How important is the role of systems integrators (SI) in the current environment?

The SI is becoming more and more the resource of convenience as customers need all the relevant and specialist help.  SIs have that knowledge, experience and understanding, whilst appreciating the huge revenue opportunities for the professional sports clubs in using the right technology solutions. 

Take new stadia constructions and the essential technology installations required to generate additional revenue streams, such as camera positions, Jumbo Screens, LED Tier Ribbons, Perimeter LED Banners, Line Array sound systems and Wireless solutions; all would prove a lot cheaper if considered before the building work starts!

Given the demand for new AV and broadcast equipment, how is that affecting second hand or residual values?

The demand for the equipment is also fuelling inflationary pressures in the second-hand market for equipment. Additionally, the supply issues that have impacted manufacturing in the new equipment market should continue to underpin prices in the second-hand market. Fewer new units today, means a more constrained second-hand market tomorrow.   

What is Paragon seeing from its client base at the moment?

It’s a vibrant market and we are receiving a number of new enquiries across all areas.

We are supporting a range of successful production and rental companies, plus the professional sports clubs and franchises through SIs that recognise there are revenue opportunities for offering the best entertainment package.

For example, top sporting events or rather ‘clubs’ now offer 20 second slots for adverts whilst the event is being aired.  Being aired not only means locally in the UK; some pitch-side LED screens not only show the local advert but a different one in in five other geographies around the world!

TV and Web streaming spectators can see a different advert, at the same time.  The LED screen acts effectively like a green screen; same match, same LED perimeter screen but six different adverts within the same 20 second slot whilst watching the same live event – increased revenue streams!

Paragon SME Lending understands this with over 12 years’ knowledge, experience and funding close to £50 million of LED products.

Visit Paragon SME Lending's Technology page to learn more about how we can support clients in the sector.