Difference between a production company and agency

10th May 2022

Why Do I need to Know The Difference Between a production company and Agency? 

Knowing the difference between the advertising and marketing services of a production company and agency is key to boosting ROI and improving business sales/reach, and of course, clarifies who you should work with on your next advertising campaign.

Stereotypically, What Is the Difference Between a production company and Agency? 

In a nutshell, the difference between a production company and agency has blurred over the years thanks to advances in technology and the current consumer attitude of wanting all your needs met from one company. Nonetheless saying this there are still companies that uphold the difference: production companies will ultimately prepare your ads for broadcast or otherwise, while an agency will focus on the creative and how the production can leverage any call-to-action. Agencies often seek finance and investment during the course of their work, and tend to commission parts of the process, such as script writing to outside specialists. 

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Production Company VS Agency? 

Production Company

‘In the old days’ a typical production company would not get too involved with the creative for your campaign. They would take care of you as clients throughout all areas of the production and distribution of your content.

Whether you are producing a DRTV, BRTV or a Brand advert, social media content, sponsorship bumpers etc (other services here). They should cater to your every production need and request from concept sign off – getting the advert on air and beyond, should you choose to make more ads with them. 


An Agency however will focus solely on your campaign’s concept, and marketing to ensure maximum sales/impact is reached. This can be problematic considering your call-to-action and creative concept may not marry up with reasonable production budgets, timelines and/or the production houses’ capabilities. An agency is useful during the concept idea generation stage at the beginning of your advertising journey, and concluding the post-production stage, considering they know who/where/when to market the campaign (Also known as Transmission). 

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Is Space City A Production Company Or Agency?

Both! We are your one-stop-shop for any video production.

How Are Space City a Production Company and Agency Combined?

We consider ourselves a hybrid of the two, combining the creativity and marketing effectiveness of an agency, with the high standard delivery and positive customer service provided by a production company. This is why you may have seen ourselves refer to both terms.

So What Do Space City Do?

We take care of all areas of production from receiving your brief and pitching 3/4 creatives to you with varying budgets and timeframes. Right up to organising the distribution of your content (transmission for TV). Space City take care of all your Pre-Production, Shoot and Post Production needs with everything involved in-between. For more info visit our About page.

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Not Just Video Production/Agency Marketing

We also specialise in Radio advertising, Music composition, Photography, TVC Casting, Creative Idea Generation & Scripting, Clearcast Clearance, audio editing, video editing, Transmission. etc. For more regarding what Video production we specialise in visit here.

Why Are Space City A Production Company/Agency Hybrid?

As we mentioned before, thanks to technological advances and the fact that businesses want a one-stop-shop to cater to all of their advertising needs at Space City we delivered! To find out more contact us below.

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Production Company VS Agency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

So, Do I Need A Production Company Or An Agency?

Back in the day the difference lies within this conclusion: a cost-effective TV commercial cannot be delivered without a production company, but can be without an agency, yet the inverse goes for other marketing campaigns depending on what deliverables you want – so both are vitally important to your business. Hence why Space City have become a hybrid of the two, meaning you no longer need to know the difference, because we take care of everything. 

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For More Info on Why you used to need to know the Difference, please see below:

Advertising with full service agencies

Advertising with full-service agencies can help with absolute brand awareness and consideration throughout the marketing process, but utilising these valuable creative entities unilaterally can be detrimental to your brands’ flexibility and nimbleness.

What is a production company?

Whenever you produce a TV, online or radio advert, the production and even elements of the creative process have to be subcontracted out to production companies. If you are looking to react to a particular news event with a quickly assembled and executed DRTV campaign, with the need to liaise with two bodies, rather than just one, your ability to deliver a campaign effectively and cost-efficiently is hampered.

What is a production agency?

As you look to define your brand and deliver marketing campaigns across email, print and press for instance, the work of production agencies is ineffably important in amplifying reach and relevance. Knowing the correct titles, angles and premises where a piece of content would be lucratively placed is key to your business increasing outbound and inbound leads to your website, but without the cost-effectively and definitively produced video promotional content, your business will endure falling ROI.

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Difference Reiterated 

Production companies will ultimately prepare your ads for broadcast or otherwise, while an agency will focus on the creative and how the production can leverage any call-to-action. Agencies often seek finance and investment during the course of their work, and tend to commission parts of the process, such as script writing to outside specialists. 

So the difference can be found between the effectiveness of agency and production company processes, but the question is, when should you utilise the respective entities?

Creative Agency/Production Company

An agency typically tends to devise the creative, but without knowing whether the suggested creative directions are realistic, your business could be wasting time on unrealistic ideas, which cannot be delivered. Whereas A production company, on the other hand, can provide a bespoke advertising creative from script-to-screen without even needing agency intervention.

Knowing and understanding your brand will be key, but with that initial knowledge gathered, concepts can be conceived, conceptualised, edited and approved for broadcast through one company, transaction and team.

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How to choose between a creative agency and production company?

Now that you know Space City are a hybrid of the two, you no longer need to choose. But for curiosities sake, why would you have had to choose?

Agency involvement in this case only limits transparency and adds to costs, while having two creative forces trying to agree on the best concept will lead to longer periods between decisions being made, notwithstanding the lack of agility you will have in changing an ad quickly, should you need to. Visit our Re-edit or Reversioning pages. If you need to ensure flexibility and availability on the part of two differing companies, your desires cannot be as easily met as they would be through utilising a production company solely in this case. Regardless of whether it is a partnership between an agency or not, the production costs from a company of this ilk does not change, however an agency will still charge their fee for having a creative input in the job.

How much money can you save from not using an agency with TV, online or radio advertising?

Enormous amounts. While this will of course differ from project-to-project, an advert that incorporates a live-action shoot for one day, hires out a location, needs a casting and several weeks to edit, clear and transmit the commercial will normally cost at least £10-20,000 with a production company, but the cost is usually double with an agency. An agency/production company hybrid like Space City can and is regularly fruitful for businesses, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Are production agencies worth the cost?

For ads where production budgets are greater and the cycle is longer, the time where your agency would be needed increases, contributing to higher overall costs. Ensure your budgets don’t spill over by embracing the difference between production companies and agencies and use Space City, a hybrid of the two. 

Agencies can of course save you money given their knowledge of brand building, their contacts and skills, but unless they are equally a production company, significant additional costs will be added to your marketing spend.

Some elements of the production process do not naturally form a part of an agency’s daily remit, therefore outsourcing other elements like transmission will only add to costs, depending on the weight of your media spend.

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Can I trust a production company with upholding my brand and boosting sales?

Yes. Before any production begins, you will ultimately still invite them to a pitching process where candidates can demonstrate knowledge of your business and other brand considerations – if they do not, ensure brand guidelines and templates with other marketing campaigns are sent across.

The greatest difference between an agency and production company remains their facilities and remit, but results are lucrative regardless.

Why choose Space City as your production company/Agency?

Space City have been producing TV, online and radio commercials for over 30 years, working with clients to become produce creative and cost-effective advertising campaigns. 

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020 7371 4000

0161 210 3330

0117 900 0444

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