Spain Sees Digital Transformation as Government Funds Future

In 2018, the U.K. was the unquestioned capital of Hollywood in Europe, home to 563 TV channels aimed at non-domestic markets — what is now Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount Global and Disney, for instance.

With the country’s exit from the European Union, however, over half of those services have relocated. After the Netherlands, their second-most-favored destination is Spain, with 212 such services in 2020, up from 79 two years earlier.

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They have found a country “in the midst of a digital transformation process, driven by new technologies as virtual reality, augmented reality, extended reality, video game engines and LED walls, to name just some,” says María González Veracruz, Spain’s secretary of state for telecommunications and digital infrastructures.

In 2022, as part of Spain’s AVS Hub Plan, which involves 13 public sector departments, the government poured almost €60 million ($66.6 million) into building digital audiovisual systems in the Canary Islands, Madrid, Catalonia, Murcia, Galicia and Navarre, to “activate local talent,” says González Veracruz.

Some 83% of the AVS Hub Plan has now been allocated in tax incentives and financial instruments supporting companies through state-backed entities such as Spain’s state-owned Official Credit Institute (ICO), Enisa and CREA SGR.

Two priorities shine through. One is support for small and mid-sized companies, both with digitalization — some would not be able to upgrade facilities and equipment without public support, González Veracruz notes — and bank guarantees backed by CREA SGR, for instance.

Another is training. From Brazil to Germany, companies are hard put to crew up, such is the demand by series and movies. Spain is no different. Led by public broadcaster RTVE’s Institute and a €75 million (€83.2 million) budget, the government aims to train 40,000 new professionals in three years.

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