​Indie Producers Struggle With Connectivity

The UK’s independent production companies are still relying on low cost, consumer broadband, according to a survey by the Digital Production Partnership (DPP).

The survey, completed by 29 production company members of the DPP, explored how indies use connectivity, how much they spend, the quality of their provision, and the role they feel connectivity could have in their businesses in the future.

“The survey reveals that most indies are still ‘making do’ when it comes to connectivity,” says DPP MD, Mark Harrison. “Despite the fact that connectivity is used in almost all aspects of their business, the majority still rely on consumer quality provision rather than specialist network services. The opportunity for both customer and supplier could be huge.”

Around half of respondents reported that they spend less than £1000 per year on their connectivity, although most have experienced issues with reliability, speed and integrity of service. More than half of production companies had experienced corrupt, stolen, lost or inaccessible content as a result of issues with their connectivity.

The typical indie has remained with the same supplier for the last five years, and regards changing supplier as a difficult challenge. Paradoxically, while around two thirds of respondents claimed their office-based connectivity provision met most of their needs, almost the same number believe better services would make them more efficient.

“Production companies are brilliantly pragmatic,” says Harrison. “They evolve work-arounds to deal with lack of budget, or access to high quality services – and this is what they have done with connectivity. The big question is: is that pragmatism creating inertia that’s preventing production from benefiting from the connected tools and services now available to them?”

Senior Production Manager Sophie Clarke, from indie Studio Lambert, said the survey highlighted “the surprising lack of relationship between connectivity suppliers and production companies.”

Over the next few months the DPP will be sharing the survey results with connectivity providers and cloud services vendors, and will be exploring how connectivity services for production could evolve more effectively over the next three years.

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