Innovative content producers to watch

Content is the fuel for digital platforms, whether it’s the video that catches your eye as you scroll through social media or the series that everyone is encouraging you to stream. We regularly find ourselves immersed in a unique space where content educates, entertains, informs, and connects, and at the centre of that are the innovators developing, creating, and producing. Working with Creative England and their latest cohort of businesses involved with Creative Enterprise Evolve, we’re thrilled to see a range of content-focused studios that are leveraging the power of storytelling to drive innovation across the industry.

We are seeing increased investment in the technologies that facilitate the decimation of content. Whilst many digital platforms are now household names, there’s huge number of emerging platforms that are enjoying success in their respective fields, with lots that have a specialist focus – as part of last year’s Evolve cohort, we welcomed Comedy Crowd, a platform specifically for independent comedy creators. As well as the influx of new platforms, there’s also huge innovation with regards to the software and hardware utilised to develop the most engaging, visual stimulating content possible. An equally exciting investment opportunity lies with the creators grabbing hold of technology to produce award-winning content. From animation and visual effects to film and production, and even the platforms connecting talent from across the industry, the creators of the content offer a sweet spot for investors.

The UK film and TV industry has bounced back incredibly post pandemic, with a record £5.6bn spent making big feature films and high-end dramas in 2021. The UK’s production industry went into overdrive last year as it sought to fill the deficit in content that the year before had created, with so many productions coming to a standstill. The annual figures compiled by the British Film Institute point to a never seen before growth in content, which has facilitated exponential growth for existing production companies and provided a space for earlier stage outfits with exciting ideas and new ways of doing things to breakthrough.

Each of the film production-focused businesses part of the Evolve cohort represent a different area of this highly creative space, whether in terms of genre, audience focus or technical capabilities – see the full list of businesses taking part in the cohort here. We’re pleased to have Dark Rift as part of the latest cohort: the multi-media horror studio has already experienced substantial success, with a number of their films having obtained worldwide distribution deals, allowing them to be accessed in over 10 territories. Despite being a small team, the success of their films to date is indicative of what can be achieved in the space, specifically the reach that quality work can achieve given the ever-growing means of digital distribution. Peggy Pictures’ USP lies in the audience they target – an entirely female-led production company, they focus on producing content solely for the under 30 audience with diversity and inclusion at their core. Their work can be enjoyed across the BBC’s digital platforms, an example of how a boutique creative agency can form an ongoing fruitful relationship with a public body. Laal Blue Dot are focused on producing feature films and high-end TV; founder Michael Groom has an incredible CV, having been mentored by acclaimed directors, he’s had his work optioned and developed by a range of large-scale production companies and worked as script coordinator for Hulu.

Though the content produced by several of the cohort’s companies is developed to entertain, it’s useful to remember that video content has many practical, education-focused applications – for investors that might not have a background in the creative space, the size of the market and potential trajectory for companies of this nature might seem more familiar. Busy Doctor Films focus on science communications; the founder combines her unique skillset of filmmaking and biomedical expertise. The company has produced nearly 50-hours of online medical education content, has developed two documentaries and one narrative feature film in-production.

We pleased to be offering our investment community with the opportunity to engage with this exciting cohort through a series of events, as well as ongoing features like this.

By UKBAA 03 Mar 2022