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South Africa's Entertainment Industry at risk!

The Allianz Risk Barometer 2018 reveals that cyber incidents are a top concern for the entertainment industry with 33% of 39 respondents pointing to the worrisome risk. Natural catastrophes with the same 33% of responses occupy the #2 spot since 2017. 

Political risks and political violence are at #3 with a 31% response. Business interruptions are a new risk in the sector at 28%. The report is published annually by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).

South African entertainment producers are adjusting their models in line with the shifting consumer preferences. User experience has become a key competitive advantage as businesses in the sector seek to harness technology and data in order to engage and retain users. This reliance on technologically advanced platforms such as live streams, pay per view and on-demand services presents the sector with cyber risks. IT failure, data breaches are the biggest risk in the sector as participants in the sector are now relying on technology to deliver entertainment content. 

Natural catastrophes also present the sector with risks similar to cyber incidents. Adverse weather conditions such as floods and heat waves often disrupt filming schedules, concerts and festivals. When filming equipment is hired and charged at an hourly rate, companies incur losses as hours of production are lost. The same losses are incurred in the form of low turnout as adverse weather conditions make it difficult to attend outdoor entertainment events.

Recently, an explosive device was found near the Greyville Racecourse during the Vodacom Durban July - one of the country’s most talked about and attended events. This bomb was one of eight incidents of bomb scares in Durban found within two weeks. A few months earlier, the local film and television industry was dealt a heavy blow when a well-known actor and producer, tragically died while rehearsing a fight scene on a movie set in the Drakensberg. He fell 40m into a river and was washed over a waterfall. These awful incidents cast the spotlight on the compliance and safety in the media and events industry, which are often great concern.

Although no terrorist and civil commotion affecting local entertainment events have been reported, political risks and violence are imminent according to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018. As seen in local football games, stampede and rowdy crowds are probable occurrences. These risks are latent in the local entertainment sector which is characterized by many live concerts and performances.  

The entertainment industry, the world over is synonymous with innovation and creativity. Participants in the sector have embraced new technologies and distribution models as they set a high standard for business excellence. This translated into the reduction of risks emanating from new technologies as indicated in the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018.

While planning for an event, it is important to have a crisis plan and consider what may go wrong. This will ensure that Insurers, risk managers, venue operators, production managers, security personnel and other stakeholders engage in dialog and have a plan in place well before the event commences in order to put on a safe live performance. Education, communication, commitment to safety, knowledge, skill and expertise are hallmarks of a good safety plan.

Event intelligence is another way of being well prepared for any event. Table top planning exercises consider details such as: What emergencies are reasonably foreseeable? What will an event’s audience be like? How will crowd behavior change from event to event in the same venue? Once the possibilities have been considered, which are most and least likely to occur? Considerations like these help coordinators pre-plan and decide on action steps.

“Entertainment insurance typically covers property and casualty risks to productions and live events. It can include physical risks for cast, crew, wardrobe, sets and equipment; and coverage for extra expenses associated with a production delay caused by those physical risks. Liability also represents a key entertainment cover: for instance at events where an organizer will need cover for injuries to performers and audience members” said Senzi Ndlozi Business Development Manager at AGCS Africa.

AGCS is well placed to use its international network to support clients operating in multiple locations, or filming outside the traditional Hollywood filming locations - including South Africa.

“Specialized entertainment policies and knowledgeable underwriters provide superior coverage and service. We continually innovate incorporating insights from our clients and brokers to respond to the evolving risks facing the Entertainment industry,” concludes Senzi.

Tweet us @GoXtraNews #GoXtraNews or contact our editor Buchule Raba to send us your stories or request interviews.

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