Production Pause Ripples Across SoCal’s Media & Entertainment Space
Film and television studios across Los Angeles County have been forced to say “cut” to productions currently underway due to ongoing stay-at-home restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. New research by CBRE shows the century-old film industry represents a significant amount of real estate in the Greater Los Angeles region: major studios occupy 18 million square feet of office space or 6.5% of total office inventory, and 5.5 million square feet of production/sound stage space.
CBRE’s Eric Willett, regional director of research and thought leadership, writes, “While production has halted, studios are exploring ways to resume some film productions – albeit with small groups of people at a time. The temporary pause in production is also likely to have reverberations once social distancing restrictions are lifted.”
According to data from FilmLA, for the past four years, studio space occupancy has been above 90%, and the months-long gap in new production is likely to bolster demand for the region’s sound stages.
Willett points out even though the cameras have stopped rolling, social distancing regulations have created significant upside for the region’s media occupiers in the streaming sector, as consumers increasingly turn to cloud-based content for entertainment at home. Nielsen reports the total estimated number of minutes streamed by viewers the first three weeks of March was 85% higher than the same period the year prior—the equivalent of 400 billion minutes worth of content.
The 86 streaming firms with a presence in Los Angeles stand to benefit the most in the near-term, says Willett. These firms have a sizeable 3.9-million-square-foot footprint in the region, or 22% of the total media & entertainment footprint, which has grown by two million square feet since Q1 2018. As the current crisis continues to unfold, the ascendance of streaming media is unlikely to abate.
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