Demystifying the industry and opening up to the public. Scouty, a British startup and pioneering location rental platform, are transforming the way content creators and film-makers secure shoot locations. The platform is making it possible for anyone with a space to rent to generate an additional stream of income.
The idea of a Universal Basic Income or a Passive Income has become appealing to many. With the cost of living putting household budgets under increasing strain, a while we have to wait on a progressive, forward-thinking government to initiate a Universal Basic Income, securing a passive income is a present-day reality. A passive income is defined as an income that requires minimal labour to earn and maintain. Traditional examples include rental income, interest on wealth and returns on investments. However, with the launch of Airbnb in 2008 a new mode of passive income became mainstream. Anyone with a home could use the platform to rent all or part of their space to travellers. Suddenly the idea of supplementing your main income with a regular second income was normalised.
Since then, a vast ecosystem has been born where people can derive a passive income renting out everything from their designer handbags, to their dogs and cars. The latest development allows homeowners to rent their whole home, or even just a single room by the hour to film crews and photographers.
Scouty was launched in 2020 by Ryan Gannon and Nico Doeser after they realised the existing systems for renting locations needed reforming. The site now boasts over 2000 locations and claims listings frequently make £500 – £2,500 per month with just 1-3 bookings. The site includes restored railway arches, London apartments, suburban homes, converted warehouses and even a gothic mansion. These can be booked for filming, photoshoots, influencer campaigns and anything in-between. Looking through the listings at www.scouty.com many of the spaces look familiar. Perhaps that’s because there’s every possibility they’ve already been in a TV advert or were used as the primary location in the latest Netflix TV drama.
While other services exist to connect location scouts with homeowners, Scouty aims to make finding and booking locations transparent, easy and less expensive. This ease of use makes life easier for creators while simultaneously offering a passive income to individuals with spaces to rent.
One of the sites earliest listings came from London homeowner Ed Myatt who told My London in early 2022 “For me, it’s all about the money – it’s just easy money,” before adding “It pays the mortgage.”
Business partners Gannon and Doeser are pleased to have overhauled the industry and given people the opportunity to monetise their spaces. Each of them has their specific skill set and unique role in ensuring the site delivers for both creatives and location owners. Gannon is primarily responsible for the site’s UX striving for simplicity, while Doeser takes care of marketing the site to industry professionals to ensure the locations have a regular stream of enquiries. For Gannon its also about making spaces available to a more diverse creative crowd, “Although we do have big-budget productions and film productions and projects that can afford to use agencies, the majority of the clients that we have are people who couldn’t afford a location agency – or wouldn’t even think about using one.”
www.scouty.com is free to join with the company charging a modest 15% commission on each successful booking. Clients using the service in the last 12 months include BBC, Sony Music, Vice and brands such as Rat & Boa, Carwow and Trapstar and influencers.