Film finance company sees jump in online sales during lockdown

A Stockport film finance and production specialist has experienced a surge in demand as a result of lockdown measures.

As the cinema experience has drastically changed since social distancing was introduced, Films4U said it has seen a boost in the demand for online streaming content with viewers seeking to find more new content from home.

Online streaming subscriptions have surged during the coronavirus pandemic, with Netflix alone gaining just over 16 million subscribers in the first months of lockdown and the other online streaming services mirroring their success.

As a result of the lockdowns big budget films due for cinematic release have instead been released direct to online streaming services, but with a higher price to view.

The purchase, coupled with the subscription charge for the online service, means the streaming platforms are currently experiencing a huge increase in revenue and user interaction.

Films4U finance and produce a range of films, but up to 99% of its film productions are made and distributed specifically for online streaming platforms and Video on Demand, such as Netflix, Amazon, Sky, Apple and Virgin.

The company benefits from an exclusive distribution partnership with one of the UK’s largest independent film distributors, High Fliers Films, based at the home of James Bond, Pinewood studios.

Their latest partnership saw new production ‘Werewolf in England’ go straight into the charts at number five in its first week, demonstrating the demand for new content from viewers who are not returning to cinemas.

A spokesman for the company said: “Like everyone in the film industry, when coronavirus hit we were uncertain about how our market would withstand the sudden changes, and, sadly, numerous cinemas have not been able to survive.

“This may actually be a momentum shift in how people view films.

“Our focus as a business has always been not to compete with the studios, but to make great films that people want to view online.

“Our distribution deal with High Fliers, who have distributed over a thousand films, is key to ensure that every film we finance, gets to market and makes money for the business and our investors.”

The increased demand for content means that Films4U is ramping up its investment into new productions and is offering the opportunity for investors to invest in British made films with generous returns, while also benefiting from up to 30% off their tax bill using the Enterprise Investment Scheme.