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APA Report: Free and pay-TV market gaining ground in Italy


- The Association of Audiovisual Producers presents its first multi-method research analysis of the Italian audiovisual industry

APA Report: Free and pay-TV market gaining ground in Italy

Strong growth in terms of production; excellent performance in terms of TV films, series, mini-series and sit-coms, which account for 38% of the audiovisual market; an increase in foreign capital invested in audiovisual productions; a greater interest in international markets; and, of course, the expansion of SVOD services, notably Netflix and Amazon, as well as “over the top” platforms. This positive news for a national economy which is anything but burgeoning comes courtesy of the association of television producers, which is changing its name from the APT to the APA - Associazione Produttori Audiovisivi (the Association of Audiovisual Producers). 

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In Rome, the APA’s president Giancarlo Leone presented the “1st Report on National Audio-visual Production” to industry representatives. “The market for free and pay-TV is on the rise. According to our estimations, this trend is set to continue, and so-called non-linear media will also gain ground, as will on-demand TV. In 2017, national audiovisual production hit a value of one billion euros”, Leone enthused. 

The report, based on data produced by numerous research institutions, including E-Media, Symbola, OFI, Geca Italia and Ce.R.T.A., highlights three developments: a clear rise in international involvement in projects by independent Italian producers; the arrival of foreign capital to enable the growth of audiovisual enterprises; and the success of Italian productions abroad, on all platforms. Between 2015 and 2017, there were around a dozen Italian TV series of international standing; between 2018 and 2020 meanwhile, there will be an estimated 25 international co-productions which are likely to command a strong presence across all markets. This signifies growth of 150% on the previous 3-year period. "The market believes in our products”, states Leone. “Recent titles include Gomorrah, Medici: Masters of Florence, Baby, The Miracle, My Brilliant Friend, The Name of the Rose, La porta rossa, Suburra: Blood on Rome, The Young Pope. Titles in the planning are also fast multiplying: Colt, Gaddafi, Devils, Il Regno, Les Italiens, Lontana da te, Black Moon, Don’t Leave Me, Romero, Romulus, The New Pope and many others. These are titles which are set to conquer the international market." 

According to Leone, the growth of SVOD and foreign groups’ entry into the market have allowed Italian producers to develop their ambitions, thanks to greater budgets. “Rai, Mediaset and Sky account for ¾ of the audiovisual chain, but there are 7 thousand companies involved directly and indirectly in the production of TV series, films, entertainment, documentaries and animation. Over 630 of these boast a turnover in excess of 1 million euros, with another 161 of these companies boasting a turnover of over 5 million. There are at least 70 thousand individuals employed in the audiovisual sector, and this number rises further still if we take associated activities into account." 

“Everything which is happening in the TV series sector can be traced back to the important role played by tax relief. This is the engine which has driven the growth of our system”, stresses Leone. At the end of the presentation, Lucia Borgonzoni, undersecretary at the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, announced an upcoming round-table aimed at revising the allocation criteria for the audiovisual market and pushing for the internationalisation of the sector. "Even Netflix have indicated their willingness to take part in these round-tables and are nominating an Italian representative. This is a significant step”.

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(Translated from Italian)

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