13 OCTOBER, 2016 | BY FRANK RADICE for Broadcast Magazine

Brexit changes everything, but it’s not all gloom, says Frank Radice

Brexit will have a tremendous impact on content creation, distribution, technology, innovation, and media and marketing: some good, some bad, and some yet to be considered.

Let’s start with the bad. If there is a continuation of the devaluation of sterling and a weak euro, creative investment will undoubtedly be adversely affected. There have already been rumblings that some major media groups and entertainment firms would relocate, although I think until all the unknowns about a hard Brexit are defined, this is just posturing.

But the truth is, when money gets tight, which it will, budgets will drop and fewer big productions will be made in the UK.

On the good side, smaller content creators and tech innovators, and those, like online producers, who understand the value of limited production, will have a clear shot at making a bigger mark on the ecosystem.

That will spawn a new generation of creative individuals who have a better understanding of what I call ‘The New Normal’.

What’s really good is that Brexit will set the UK industry apart, as it can be the keeper of its own flame.

But for the content creators, keeping their own flame is not enough. We can be in charge of our own destiny, but it is never going to work unless we can be part of the greater global community that controls technological innovation and content creativity. Brexit will force the UK creative community into a new direction.

As industries merge, those responsible for content distribution and creative tech will be forced to learn more about how new tech can better their world. That can only be a good thing. An already innovative industry will be encouraged to innovate further. It’s a wake-up call in which they will be pushed into new ways of thinking for more effective, and relevant, strategies.

So what we think of as TV and traditional media will morph into something different. Everything will be online. And once that happens, content creation and consumption will be able to live alongside what we know as linear distribution (even though it’s digital).

Streaming and OTT will combine with notifications, bots and apps. Virtual, augmented and mixed reality will merge with social media to create a new paradigm. Like dominoes, once the big tile (Brexit) falls, everything else will drop into place.

That’s just here in the UK. The rest of the tech and media world is already heading in that direction.

From self-driving cars and the internet of things, to voice, face and movement recognition and artificial intelligence, everything is changing.

This will help push the UK into an opportunity to take a leadership position, if for no other reason than that our creative community will have to make ‘The New Normal’ work after Brexit.

One final note: the UK has offered some tax relief for creatives but it’s too little, too late. It shouldn’t have taken Brexit to make this an issue and we still don’t know the extent of the relief. Governments should support creative industries. The US has done this for years and it encourages production and innovation.

So, there is some bad news, some unknown, but in the end, it will all be good for the creative tech community, and the people who consume the content. ­

Frank Radice is chair of PromaxBDA UK’s conference, The New Normal, which takes place next month.

 

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