Media and entertainment companies find Canada as an increasingly attractive location for filming and post-production. Major blockbusters like X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Midway and It: Chapter Two were just a few of the projects that based their operations north of the U.S. border. According to the Canadian Media Producers Association, foreign producers spent $4.86 billion in Canada in 2019 . Behind the spending is one compelling motivation – the need for the entertainment industry to compete with new players that are edging in on the market for feature-length films and serials.
If your business is looking to enter the Canadian market or expand operations north of the border, access our checklist to help you choose the right service provider.
What makes Canada so attractive? As the industry competes for viewers and revenue, what considerations come into play when media companies are choosing network solutions?
What gives Canada a leg up?
Canada is the obvious choice for investment from foreign film producers looking to grow their business for three key reasons:
1. Financial incentives
Canada offers a wealth of financial incentives to foreign film producers, including those from the U.S. For example, the Canadian film or video production services tax credit (PSTC) allows producers from any country to enjoy a refundable tax credit of 16% of their qualified Canadian labor expenditures . Many of Canada’s provinces and territories offer additional tax credits or rebate programs to attract film producers. The strength of the U.S. dollar is also a big incentive to expand operations north of the border.
2. Surge in Canada’s data center hot spots
From a data storage, processing, and transport perspective, many media and entertainment companies do business within data center hot spots like Montreal, Western Canada and the Greater Toronto Area. Data centers tend to favor areas that are dense with existing fiber optic network infrastructure to provide the high speed, low latency connectivity services their customers demand. With high volume video transfers that require maximum performance and low latency transport, organizations within the entertainment sector seek proximal access to data center hubs.
Canadian data center hubs are also attracting top cloud providers that many media companies lean on to support the levels of scalability and flexibility needed to store, manage and deliver reliable content. Read our helpful guide on the economic benefits to cloud providers of doing business in Canada.
3. Local talent
Canada also boasts exceptional talent. According to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Canada is a world leader in the animation and visual effects sector, employing over 50,000 employees and generating over $7.5 billion yearly . Major Hollywood studios including Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Disney Interactive have set up divisions in Canada, enabling seamless operations between the two countries. With growing industry interest in digital media, Canada’s proximity to the U.S. and industry expertise continues to be desirable to U.S.-based studios.
Demands on the media and entertainment industry
It’s clear that Canada offers some significant incentives to U.S. companies. Yet, what role does network connectivity play in the success of these organizations?
In recent months, a growing number of organizations within the M&E industry have had to rely even more on network performance to collaborate effectively with business partners across geographically dispersed locations and produce efficiently. The ongoing digital transformation of the M&E sector is incentivizing companies to search for network solutions that improve workflows, reduce expenditures, meet bandwidth requirements and enable a fast time to market. A strong network with high-bandwidth and low-latency can help to produce efficiently while enabling the delivery of a massive amount of media content.
How BCE Global fits
At BCE Global, a Bell Canada company, we offer several distinct advantages to media and entertainment companies north of the border.
1. High speed highway
BCE Global is the largest communications company in Canada with over 22 million customer connections that leverage a network spanning over 165,000 miles, also the largest in Canada. In short, we offer our clients a superhighway with ultra-low latency capabilities that can enable the high-volume video transfer’s common to the sector.
2. Ingrained redundancy
With speeds up to 100 Gbps available, BCE Global supports the industry in meeting evolving network requirements. However, performance also requires redundancy to meet the reliability requirements of media and entertainment companies. Our network offers this through our triverse architecture. We offer three routes running from coast-to-coast, two of which remain 100% in Canada. That’s helpful from both a performance and security perspective, especially if an international customer wishes to keep data within Canada’s borders.
3. Strong media roots
Finally, we have years of experience as a media and entertainment organization including Bell Media’s majority stake in the world class Pinewood Toronto production facility. In addition, we invested $4 billion in our network in 2019 in order to support customers as they leverage applications such as those involving Big Data, IoT and a variety of multimedia services. This is a part of what makes BCE Global a trusted partner for many in the space today.
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1 Canadian Media Producers Association, CMPA’s Profile 2019 highlights economic capacity of Canadian media production industry before COVID-19
2 Government of Canada, Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit
3 CanadExport, Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service, Canada’s digital talent a hit in Hollywood