SURGE IN TV AND FILM PRODUCTION FOR STREAMING SERVICES COULD MEAN 10,000 NEW JOBS FOR ONTARIO

Toronto is already the third-largest screen-based (film, TV and digital) production centre in North America, behind only Los Angeles and New York, and is poised to break a record in 2019, possibly topping our 2016 mark of $2.01 billion (Cdn.).

The TV and film industry already employs 37,000 directly and indirectly in Ontario. Toronto Star File Photo

Toronto is already the third-largest screen-based (film, TV and digital) production centre in North America, behind only Los Angeles and New York, and is poised to break a record in 2019, possibly topping our 2016 mark of $2.01 billion (Cdn.).

My prediction is that we may not just top it — we may go way “over the top” due to massive spending on production from companies in the video streaming business.

Video that is streamed via the Internet, as opposed to traditional methods such as cable or broadcast, are called over the top, or OTT. These include existing OTT players Netflix (54 per cent of Ontario homes have a subscription as of 2019), Amazon Prime, Hulu and new OTT services being introduced in 2019/2020 from Disney, Apple, HBO, NBC and CBS.

A recent article added up the estimated spending from all these services and came to a total of more than $42 billion (U.S.). Of course, HBO and Disney and so on were already spending for their traditional offerings, but the estimate above includes only the incremental spending for the OTT version.

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