David Knight - 23rd June 2009

UK production companies have been boosted with the news that a deal giving production companies 75% upfront of agreed budgets under £25K has been greenlighted by Universal Music, the major with the largest share of the UK music market.

The new 75:25 measure is designed to ease production company cashflow problems on lower budget jobs, and it should improve financial confidence throughout the videomaking business.

Together with this departure from the usual 50% upfront, 50% paid-on-delivery split, Brimson's email also highlights Universal's sanctioning of a break from the time-honoured system of paying producers 5% of the budget, on jobs of less than £25K - thus addressing the inequity of producers being paid negligible amounts for their efforts on low budget jobs.

Producers can now be paid up to 10% of budgets less than £25K - at the discretion of individual Universal commissioners. For budgets over £25K, producers will be paid either 5% or a maximum of 10% for the first £25K, whichever is greater.

The decisions approved by senior figures at Universal are a fillip for those in the music video industry who have argued that changes in the traditional production payment system are crucial if British music video production in it's current form is to survive.

David Knight - 23rd June 2009

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