Payment Culture in the UK Media, Sports & Entertainment Sector
Small businesses in the Media, Sports & Entertainment sector in the UK have faced numerous challenges in recent years, and slow or late payments are one of the biggest hurdles they encounter. In 2023, the issue remains a significant concern for these companies, and it’s crucial to highlight its impact on the industry.
The sector is a crucial part of the UK economy, generating billions of pounds each year. However, the industry comprises many small businesses that often face cash flow problems due to late payments. Many of these businesses rely on timely payments to sustain their operations, pay their staff, and grow their businesses. Slow or late payments in the Media, Sports & Entertainment sector are often caused by several factors, including the industry’s complex payment structures, a lack of transparency in payment practices, and the long payment terms enforced by large companies. In some cases, companies may also intentionally delay payments to small businesses to manage their own cash flow or to take advantage of their bargaining power.
The impact of slow or late payments on small businesses in the sector can be devastating. They can face severe financial difficulties, struggle to pay their bills, and may even be forced to close their operations. Late payments also limit these businesses’ ability to invest in new equipment, technology, or staff, making it difficult to compete with larger companies.
There have been significant changes in payment culture across this sector over the past year, with big improvements in some companies and the opposite in others. This sector contains more than most in terms of companies taking over 100 days to pay, with Mediacom Scotland topping the list of slowest payers, taking a staggering 122 days on average, up from an already slow 87 days last year and Columbia Pictures paying in 109 days. Amongst the slowest payers, there have been some disappointing increases in payment time this year versus last year, with KR Media (72 to 102 days), Wavemaker (77 to 98 days) and Mindshare Media (80 to 95 days). However, there have been a few big improvements, with David Lloyd Clubs almost having payment times (117 to 64 days), The Brooklyn Brothers who have previously paid fast, but then had a bad year last year paying have returned to very fast payment (75 to 11 days) and most noteworthy of all, Hello Elephant who have moved from 119 days down to 10 days – a record set for biggest improvement!
In conclusion, slow or late payments are a significant challenge for small businesses in the Media, Sports & Entertainment sector in the UK in 2023. Addressing this issue requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, including the government, large companies, and small businesses themselves. By working together, the industry can create a fairer and more sustainable payment system that supports the growth and success of small businesses.