Content development and cost capitalisation by media companies

Making sense of a complex world

This paper explores the critical considerations relating to the classification, capitalisation and amortisation of content development spend under the applicable IFRS standards IAS 2 Inventories and IAS 38 Intangible Assets, focusing on the television production, educational publishing and video game sectors.

PwC’s 16th Annual Global CEO Survey highlighted that 38% of CEOs in the Entertainment & Media (E&M) sector said they see new product/ service/ content development as the key way to grow their business over the coming year. However, the accounting for spend on internal development presents challenges.

Companies that are adept at navigating the intricate accounting and reporting practices can tell their story in a clear and compelling manner, building public trust in their performance with stakeholders such as investors, analysts, employees, suppliers, advertisers and viewers.

This paper covers:

  • Which IFRS standard to apply, IAS 38 or IAS 2 or IAS 11, when accounting for product/contact development costs
  • When and which costs should be capitalised
  • How to determine an appropriate amortisation life and profile