The Lab upbeat about future of Scope
CREATIVE Agency the Limners and Bards Limited (The Lab) says it remains optimistic about the future direction of its Scope Caribbean subsidiary, especially now when the company positions to further tap into the market for content creation.
The two-year-old subsidiary which was established to provide brand-related content and talent services across the Caribbean, at the end of the 2022 financial year registered continued losses of over $2.9 million, a performance which — along with other factors such as higher staff costs — impacted the bottom line of its parent company, The Lab which registered reduced profits of $144 million — 11.5 million below that of the previous year. Revenues for the creative company however went up almost 10 per cent to total $1.3 billion for the year.
Managing director of The Lab Kimala Bennett, speaking at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday, said the operations of Scope, despite the challenges, are to become even more relevant going forward as the company “future proofs” its business and diversifies revenue streams.
Describing the entity as a “new way of marketing for this region”, she said it can hardly be viewed as just a start-up, harbouring big plans to further leverage growth.
“I am confident that the scope of Scope will increase as we move more into content. As we create more content we are going to need its talent for various pieces as Jamaica becomes a film destination. When the Marley movie drops next year all eyes will be on Jamaica, and the Lab will be very much ready and waiting to welcome all the productions that come to the island and also to export these content… and Scope will play a big role in the area,” she told shareholders.
The Lab, bullish on taking a bigger slice of the globally lucrative influencer market, said through a number of marketing campaigns and talent management workshops it is now looking to work with more established and smaller influencers (with under 5000 subscribers) to grow wings in this area.
Through its agency, production, media and content divisions, the company said it has also been actively taking steps to increase client acquisition, work/collaborate with agencies on projects outside of Jamaica, and strengthen its intellectual property rights (IP) to owned content, which it wants to later license or sell.
With content expected to play a huge role in its 2025 strategy the objective, the company said, is to have 30 per cent of its revenues within the next two years coming from this segment.
Having plans underway to seriously expand its production and distribution footprint, the company — outside of looking at the use of the YouTube platform to push upcoming content — said it is also currently working with internationally acclaimed film and distribution outfit Alliance Cinema to build out commercial viability for its products as it looks to grow in the area.
Pending the roll-out of projects which include web series Jia Zhang, Seen and Genna-in-law; and movies Island Christmas, Weekend Star, Love offside and Ring road, the Lab, in developing these films and through its current partnership with Alliance Cinema, said it is laser-focused on extracting greater value from the content and talent side of its business to further drive profitability.
Tapping into the more popular and profitable romance and comedy genre, Bennett said she believes the demand for the upcoming productions will be huge.
“We have a well-oiled machine and we have expanded our vision to become more inclusive of where it is that we’re going, and in short that is to build brands and to create entertainment. There is a huge demand for content, and that is exactly where we plan to play. We already have the skills, talent and the equipment, which we will tap into for this growth,” Bennett said.
“Our strategy is focused on The LAB increasing its non-Jamaican and content development and licensing business, generating enhanced leverage from our portfolio of existing assets and capability to deliver further growth. The content market is a compelling opportunity for the company and we remain focused on optimising our digital and technological infrastructure and offering new services which improve our return on investment,” Chairman Steven Gooden said.