c, carried out by the Foreign Trade Promoter of Costa Rica (PROCOMER), it is estimated that in the country there are about 350 companies dedicated to the provision of audiovisual services such as exclusive content development, production, co-production, post-production and / or direction of audiovisual projects, with national or international content. Most of these companies are micro or small, with an average of 18 years of experience in the market.
The audiovisual industry in Costa Rica is mostly focused on national production, however, international audiovisual projects are gaining more importance every day. It is estimated that 83% of the companies in this sector receive income from national projects, while 17% receive 51% or more of their income from international productions, which shows an export vocation in the sector, this for the year 2020.
“With this study we set out to know the characteristics of the country’s audiovisual services sector, its production capacity and level of competitiveness; in order to have a broader picture and determine what support or improvement strategies we should jointly undertake to give greater value to this industry,” said Marta Esquivel, PROCOMER’s Director of Business Intelligence.
Commercials for television or other media, photo shoots and corporate videos are the most frequent projects that are developed in the country, since 29%, 18% and 16% of the companies, respectively, indicated that they carry out at least once a month, generating revenues of about $ 10,245 per project in the case of television commercials.
On the other hand, although productions such as series, conventional cinema and medium and feature-length documentaries are produced less, they are the ones that leave the country the highest income with amounts of $ 28,296, $ 21,973 and $ 20,826 on average per project. The same happens with the international demand for these services, but with higher profit margins (series $ 35,925, cinema $ 35,327, medium / feature documentaries $ 25,453 on average per project).
In terms of production capacity, it is estimated that, in 2019, companies in the audiovisual sector carried out 4,288 projects at the national level and 998 projects for international clients, including short, medium, feature films and others.
At the national level, it is estimated that the productive capacity, in days, from the contracting of the service to its delivery is the following:
16 short films per company per year of 34 days on average per project.
6 feature films per company per year of 194 days on average per project.
13 other types of 28 days on average per project.
While, at the international level, the estimated productive capacity is:
20 short films per company per year of 64 days per project.
5 other types of 28 days per project.
Maureen Alpízar, PROCOMER economic analyst in charge of the study, mentioned that international buyers in this sector value certain characteristics of the country, prior to making the decision on where to produce, which must be taken into account by the Costa Rican audiovisual sector. “The impact on costs, the existence or not of tax incentives and the availability of human talent, as well as a favorable environment in the country towards the sector; are the main variables. In addition, they consider the variety and availability of outdoor locations, the infrastructure of communications, transportation, food and lodging, among others ”, added Alpízar.
Finally, the study details six recommendations that could help improve the development of the audiovisual industry in Costa Rica:
– Training at a technical level (script development, production and post production, as well as audiovisual editing and photography) as well as at a business level (marketing and sales, finance, administration or management, among others).
– Creation of insurance for the different equipment for theft or loss, access to life insurance, accidents, occupational risk and protection of filmed material.
– Creation of a one-stop shop to streamline procedures and permits.
– Greater support for training in the quantity and quality of people to fulfill certain positions.
– Greater support to position or publicize Costa Rican talent in key markets.