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AICP Survey Shows Positive Trends in Commercial Production Activity


The Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) released its ninth annual Survey of the Commercial Production Industry. The study, conducted for the trade group by Resolve Market Research, a Los Angeles-based market research consultancy, measures industry trends and activity in the $4.5 billion-plus commercial production industry.

“The data collected and analyzed by Resolve Market Research provides both our members, and the industry at-large valuable insights into trends in the commercial production business,” said Matt Miller, AICP president and CEO. “These findings provide an in-depth analysis of where the billions of dollars in commercial production activity are expended, along with key business issues our members face as they manage and grow their companies.”

The survey quantifies the economic impact of commercial production, including identifying geographic trends in commercial filming activity by AICP member companies both domestically and internationally as well as industry responses to a number of key factors that impact the financial health of the industry.

Among this year’s survey highlights is an illustration of how the economic recovery is affecting and improving production levels by AICP members. “The results of the study are compelling,” said Miller. “Production expenditures are up by 5% and nearly back to 2008 levels. As the economy continues to improve, and media channels proliferate – more filmed content is needed – and AICP member companies continue to see the positive opportunities in the economy of a growing industry.

Among the highlights of the study:

Expenditures rose 5% in 2010. Rebounding from the economic downturn in 2008-2009, expenditures rose close to pre-2008 numbers this past year. Specifically, live-action production expenditures saw an average increase of 5% per company, and companies that are engaged in digital production saw an increase of 47% on average from 2009-2010. Domestic expenditures also increased by 4%. Regionally, the industry invested an average of 50% of all live-action expenditures in California, with New York at 15% and all other domestic regions at 26% for 2010.

71% of live action shoot days took place on location. The percentage of shoot days on location was the highest since 2008. In line with expenditures, 51% of all shoot days in 2010 took place in Southern California. However, production levels in the Golden State remain almost stagnant, continuing a 3% market loss trend since 2007. New York received 15% of all shoot days, with the New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting showing a 10% increase in commercial activity over 2009 due primarily to the positive economic impact of the Empire State Commercial Tax Credit put into effect in 2007. Other domestic regions received 22%, with Illinois receiving 4% and Florida receiving 2% respectively. Overall, foreign shoot days remained consistent, accounting for 12% of all shoot days.

2010 saw a continuing trend toward domestic filming activity. Eighty-eight percent of all reported shoot days took place domestically, with 12% abroad. This represents a decrease from the 24% of shoot almost a decade ago, and the lowest ratio for shoot days overseas since this survey’s inception in 2002.

Significant filming activity continued outside of traditional production centers. In 2010, about 18% of all shoot days took place away from the major production centers of New York, Illinois, and Southern California. The Southwest (Texas, New Mexico and Arizona) with 4% and Southeast (Georgia, North & South Carolina) with 3% have shown the most growth in activity in recent years, mostly due to incentives offered to commercial production in those states.

Europe and the U.K. ranked #1 among international locations for the first time. The past year saw fluctuation in the most common foreign shoot location. Shoot days in Europe and the UK increased significantly to lead activity overseas for the first time in the survey’s history. After a 49% dip in activity in 2009, South America rebounded to remain the second most filmed foreign location. Canada again fell slightly for the second straight year to 21% of all shoot days abroad.”

“As the mix of media distribution continues to widen, we’ve seen our member companies respond with their in-house digital production jumping by nearly 50%,” continued Miller. “Given the rapid evolution and changes across the media landscape, the AICP membership continues to evolve their businesses to produce both live-action and digital content to reflect the demands of brands, ad agencies and the consumer.”

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