A Global Growth Industry
Enabled by ubiquitous connectivity and English having become the Lingua Franca, we witness an unseen growth of the global media and entertainment industry. Fueled by US investment, the United Kingdom’s Creative Industries have outpaced all other British sectors, with its jobs base having grown by 30.6% between 2011 and 2018 according to Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports DCMS. Similarly, the Republic of Ireland has set an ambitious goal to double the employment of the Irish audio-visual and animation sector within the next five years.
Neither are creative jobs in our sector threatened by automation, nor will Brexit impact the British audio-visual industry* which is poised to grow by overseas investment and the need of UK broadcasters to ramp up content acquisition, production and their technical platforms. The technological revolution due to streaming, cloudification and digital profiling of the consumer is pushed by a myriad of new media tech companies, with the next economic cycle of consolidation in a few years providing great exit opportunities for today’s startups.
*From an Isle of Man point of view the potential loss of EU passporting rights of largely London based EU broadcasters is unrelated to the Isle of Man positioning.
Last year the Isle of Man saw more than 20 new media companies being founded with 10 being operative by now. The first eight months of 2019 we are proud to report another 8 new media companies increasing employment. With dozens of enquiries of interested media companies exploring the Isle of Man their potential operations hub, we are not short of further growth opportunities.
Comprehensive Value Chain
First Pillar: Content Creation
The Island already features a wide-ranging supply chain for global media companies. Often and wrongly abridged to film production only, the media sector is by far broader. But let’s start with the ‘Content Creation’ side. The Isle of Man prides itself for its heritage in more than 100 films being produced, largely for theatrical release. Today’s setup has already shifted towards a more television and commercial video-centric production base. We are more than 20 production and post-production companies now, supported by casting and talent agencies, prop stores, drone operators, training & education. Actors and professional vloggers from abroad have made the Island their home.
Actiphons, Animation Explainers, Ballaskeig Films, Bloom Creative, Blue Olive, CG AerialFilms, Cooil Creatives, Cool Edit Production, DAM Production, Dark Avenue Film, Duke, EDITIOM, Ex-Isle Casting, Flix Facilities, FormatZone, Glass Line Media, Global Motorsports Ventures / Pilgrim Media Group, Greenlight TV, Greybox Media, Halycone Studios, IOM Props and Film Services, Island Media Studios, LovelyGreens, Mannimation, Open Water Films, Parker & Snell, Pomenia World, Studio @ The Nunnery, Talon Media, Visual Picnic, Your Movie Crew
Second Pillar: Rights Distribution and Advertising
With several commercial rights distribution companies and an international media buying ad agency, this layer of the supply chain is the second pillar for the Isle of Man sector. Also, global video platform operators have setup holdings on the Isle of Man for their global assets. Content creation and rights distribution both are clustered around Motorsports, a rapidly growing number of Animation companies, Video Commercials and Nature/Health/Lifestyle.
Ayngaran International, Beckmann Visual, Duke Video / Motorsport Network, EROS International, Greenlight International, Heroes & Friends, MediaTech Advertising, Motorsport Mundial
Third Pillar: Video Technology & Delivery, Broadcasting
The third leg of the Island’s burgeoning media landscape is its video technology and broadcasting sector. Our audio-visual tech sector had recently been joined by a film camera stabilization platform manufacturer, an underwater film drone developer, a channel launch and playout service provider and a Video-on-Demand Platform for classic movies.
Last but not least we enjoy three indigenous radio stations, including the National Public Broadcaster Manx Radio, the first ever commercially licensed radio in the British Isles, plus presences of the BBC and ITV and local video journalists operating their own platforms.
3FM, BBC, CG AerialFilms, CleerVu, EnergyFM, ITV, grq consulting, Immortalize TV, Launch TV, Manx Radio, MK-VR, PMC Television, mt.tv, SES Satellites, UniqueX, Waterbear Network
As Isle of Media, we do encourage, facilitate and witness now a growing cooperation between all three layers of the media supply chain, may it be content creators we introduce to rights buyers and distributors or ad agencies, content owners introduced to opportunities in video on demand opportunities for ship crew welfare, live broadcasts including the TT facilitated via satellite and fibre end-to-end by local companies, or an award-winning multi-jurisdictional production company shooting a documentary about the Isle of Man Beach Buddies.
On top of being ‘super-connected’ with five submarine cables on diverse routes to Britain and Northern Ireland, with two additional connections to Dublin and Blackpool (Manchester) in construction, the Isle of Man features a multi-million teleport for broadcast uplinks, a standing telecommunication infrastructure for live playout via 24/7 operational MPLS fibres circuits to London and satellite in parallel, a cinema content delivery service operator and six Tier III data centres. If you want to link globally to any broadcaster or distribute cinema content to 2,500 cinemas in Europe and South Africa, the Isle of Man connects you as easy as to the Big Three Public Cloud providers in London and Dublin.
Talent & Education
Victim of its own success, the Isle of Man enjoys an ultra-low unemployment rate of less than one percent. Talent is a scarce resource in most industries, but less a problem for the creative sector. While on the one side we still can built on the talent of the Island’s former film-centric sector inherited, talent is used to be generally mobile in the content production industry, taking on engagements which last from several months to many years. Further on import of talent is financially supported by the Isle of Man government with a bounty for employers and a National Insurance Holiday Incentive for the recruit.
Research in the Island’s population challenges ranks both, ‘Film & Animation’ as well as ‘Tech’ into the Top-8 of Isle of Man graduates most attractive career options to motivate them to move back to the Isle of Man.
The University College Isle of Man UCM and private initiatives produce home grown talent as well. The vibrant short film scene on the Island, supported further by the Art’s Council, creates the entry ticket of young talent to the sector. Isle of Media is a Patron of the Royal Television Society RTS, an educational charity for the broadcast sector with an own RTS Isle of Man Centre, offering information, industry insights and networking on the career ladder.
Lifestyle & Location
Centered right in the middle between the film hubs of Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin with their never-enough-studio capacity, and Manchester Media City and upcoming Leeds as broadcast hubs, the Isle of Man offers a natural business and lifestyle alternative to its overcrowded neighbors. A more laid-back country-lifestyle and one of the best work life-balances you can find in the British Isles, the Isle of Man is never far away from any major UK city by its dense flight connection network.
Used to serve as a diverse film shooting location, the Island has been often described by producers as a ‘mini UK within 32 miles’ due to its varying landscape and architecture, ranging from Scottish Highlands, to West Coast sand dunes, Welsh coal mines, English gardens and sea resorts, Victorian railways, Viking burials and Neolithic tombs. The hills, glens, beaches and bays provide a great environment for those who love the outdoors and sports.
Last but not least, the famous TT race course, especially the iconic mountain course, still serves for many car and bike commercials, or for a quick commute to work.
Offshore Benefits in Taxation & Investment
A global finance centre, the Isle of Man is Europe’s unique Offshore Media Hub. You probably need to look as far away as the Media City in Dubai, hence outside Europe, to find another offshore jurisdiction actively attracting the media industry.
In the Isle of Man, residents enjoy low taxes; pay NO Capital Gains Tax, NO Inheritance Tax, and NO Stamp Duty. With ZERO corporate tax and NO capital gains tax, the Isle of Man caters for high-profit companies, headquarters and media holdings as well as startups with an aggressive growth path and intention to exit.
Low income tax of just 20% and a tax cap of £175,000 for an individual and £350,000 for a jointly assessed couple, plus a Key Employee Concession program make the Isle of Man very attractive for entrepreneur and top executives.
The lack of withholding taxes on the Isle of Man is especially attractive for the commissioning and distribution of media IP.
As there is no corporate tax, the Island does not offer a ‘film tax relief’ like the UK or Ireland do for financing drama or high-end documentaries. But there are many other genres like TV shows, sport productions, or video commercials which nowhere else are eligible for any tax relief either. This part of the ‘Content Creation’ layer in the media supply chain clearly benefits from the Isle of Man tax regime as do the other two pillars of the media sector, rights distribution & advertising and video technology & broadcasting.
On the contrary to offering film tax relief to one-off productions, the Island offers financial support in grants to Island based media businesses.
Finally, for big ticket items, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands based International Stock Exchange TISE offers listings and bonds for international business like it provided Netflix with a €1.3 billion bond.
Compared to other regional film boards, Isle of Media’s remit as an inward investment agency for the whole media sector is much wider. It is operated by ‘Media Natives’, bringing decades of executive experience in the broadcasting, content creation, commissioning, distribution, gaming and investment together, RTS and BAFTA awards included. Our global C-level advisory board features as prominent figures as the ‘father’ and previous president of Discovery Networks, the former head of the European Broadcast Union, the founder and CEO of ZDF acquired OffTheFence, the Chief Executive of the film charity Cinemagic, the chairman of the media industry research agency and publishing house C21, the director of the Celtic Media Festival and directors from KPMG and wealth management company Dixcart.
You can meet our executives and advisors regularly at MIPCOM, MipTV, Sportel, IBC, the Celtic Media Festival or at TV Connect. If you don’t want to wait are interested in joining Europe’s only offshore media hub, arrange a meeting! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Isle of Media:
Isle of Media is the national development agency for the thriving Isle of Man video, broadcast and film sector. Driving inward investment in Digital Media and foster the indigenous industry and talent, we provide pro-bono advice to develop your next media project on the Isle of Man.
We promote the Island’s excellent capabilities in financing and growing media ventures, its stunning filming locations, its exceptional talent and world class telecommunications infrastructure, we support and attract the whole industry supply chain: production, post-production, global distributors, ad agencies, consultancies, OTT operators and satellite broadcasters.