In the week that Broadcast publishes its Post Survey 2008, Will Strauss looks at the characteristics of the 'average' UK facilities company.

This week's issue of Broadcast sees the publication of the results of the Post Survey 2008.

It's one of those annual reports that highlight change and movement in the sector. I was lucky enough to be involved in the analysis of the results and, if you grab a copy of the magazine on Thursday, you'll see there are some quite interesting findings.

Of course, there are the top line figures like:

  • The 10 largest companies/groups take home nearly 60% of the money spent on television post production

  • Overall revenues from television were up by£38 million to£292 million.

  • The post market in the UK - taking into account film, commercials, DVD and television work - is now worth around£570 million

And there are other interesting findings too. But some of the analysis didn't make it to the final report so I thought I would share of it with you here instead as a bit of an online exclusive. Drum roll please.

OK, so I might have built that up a bit. What you will see below is the basic components of the average post company. Let's call them Avco Television Ltd.

Avco Television ltd has:

  1. a turnover of£6.81 (up£1.3m on last year)

  2. sales to TV clients of£3.5m (up£0.32m on last year)

  3. 65 employees

  4. a bill for kit spend of£690,000 (up£40k on last year)

(In case I haven't already made this abundantly clear, Avco is a fictional operation. Its figures are generated from the average for all the companies completing the Post Survey.)

Somewhat surprisingly, Avco TV Ltd outperforms the market.

Average growth across post facilities is usually around 5% to 10% per annum. But, because Avco generated more income from non-broadcast work (and allowing for some discrepancies in the way companies reported their figures year-on-year), Avco's turnover is up by roughly 25%.

Only£0.32m (less than 3%) of that increase came from TV. With just over half of sales (£3.5m) coming from broadcast customers, it means that commercials and film are becoming more important to the average company.

Monies generated from film and commercials accounted for 20% and 15% of business respectively. In 2006 it was 14% and 7%.

The most important services for Avco are (in order): full post, online editing, audio and telecine with offline editing a distant fifth.

Quite Interesting

In a Stephen Fry hosted panel show kind of way, I think this is all Quite Interesting - especially the bit about commercials and film becoming more important - even if it is a little abstract.

Post houses are clearly trying to spread their nets - and their risks - a bit wider to avoid any potential downturn in any single market or section of that market. Very wise.

The real question is, how do other companies - such as yours perhaps - compare to that? Did you increase your turnover? Are you still spending huge swathes of cash on kit? Were sales to TV clients a little slower than usual last year? Do you now rely heavily on non-broadcast work?

If you also find it Quite Interesting, you can let me - and other readers - know how your company compares by using ‘reader response' below. Don't forget to log in first. There is no need to reveal your company or your name if you don't want to. You can stay anonymous. Just tick the box.

And don't forget to pick up the magazine on Thursday. It will also be quite interesting.