The Scoggins Reportby Jason Scoggins & Cindy KaplanApril 2, 2013
March 2013Spec Market Roundup
We stayed up late last night messing around with the numbers for the ﬁrst quarter of2013, and we’re now even more convinced than we were last month:
Somethingtotally bizarre is going on in the spec script market
. Consider the following:•
There has been
less new material on the market this year than usual --40% less, to be precise
(just 56 scripts over three months, vs 93 by this pointlast year and 89 in 2011)...•...
of material sold has been very high, almost exactly thesame as last year
(41%, vs 42% at this point last year and 35% in 2011).•Also,
of the 23 specs that have sold so far this year,
fewer were boughtby major studios than usual -- 39% fewer, to be precise
(7 scripts in the pastthree months, vs 18 by this point last year and 14 in 2011)...•...and
three major studio buyers still haven’t bought
specs yet this year
yet the studios have collectively bought just as many pitches this year aslast
(17 out of the 22 pitch sales so far in 2013, vs 18 out 23 in 2012).That middle item is pretty shocking --
we haven’t seen a total studio purchasenumber that low since 2010
, which you may remember was an absolutely awful yearfor specs. If all we knew were the raw sales numbers, we’d have a pit in our collectivestomach about the state of the market......but when we factor in the ﬁrst and last bullet points (comparing year-over-year totalscripts taken to market and pitch sales numbers, respectively), we feel quite a bit better.Here’s our take:
The buyers are still buying, but the sellers are throttling supply.
A month ago we chalked this up as the effect of Resolution’s and Paradigm’s hiringsprees, and we still think that’s true. Here’s the thing, though: Waiting a beat or twomakes sense, but at some point there’s going to be a ﬂood of new material on themarket and some good stuff is going to get lost in the shufﬂe. If we were repped writerswith market-ready specs, we’d be starting to get impatient right about now.
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