BBC’s commercial global subsidiary BBC Studios published a record set of results as part of a summary of its strategic and financial performance for the year 2022/23. According to the group, sales were £2.090 million, up 28% on the previous year. This increase was driven by growth in its global Content Studio, which fuelled BBC Studios’ catalogue, while thriving brands like “Bluey” and “Dancing with the Stars” and strong long-term partnerships also contributed to the year’s performance.
Profit (EBITDA) rose 6% to £240 million (versus £226 million in 2021/22) despite pressures from inflation, a volatile advertising market and pressure on pay TV revenues. Having already doubled over the past five years to March 2022, BBC Studios is now aiming to double the size of the business again from 2021/22 to 2028.
“I am extremely proud of these results, which show the strength of our content driving our growth strategy. Our global Content Studio had an exceptional year, growing by nearly half and winning awards for creativity and craft across all genres, as well as covering significant national moments with distinction. Revenue held steady overall in our channels and streaming services internationally, despite ongoing external challenges posed by inflation and volatility in the advertising market, and we made further investment into production labels, BBC.com and UKTV to promote and sustain future growth,” said Tom Fussell, CEO of BBC Studios.
“Looking ahead, we have bold ambitions to double the business by 2028, while investing for future growth and market volatility, which will impact short term profitability. At the same time, we are continually transforming our culture to prioritize inclusion, operate sustainably and put performance at the heart of everything we do,” Fussell added.
The global Content Studio – housing production, content sales, brands and licensing globally – grew strongly in the year, with sales up 40%, and EBITDA up £46 million. Over 75% of its revenues are now from third parties, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix. Its award-winning content ranged from worldwide entertainment icon “Dancing with the Stars,” to dramas “Happy Valley” and “Sherwood.” Creative collaborations included hip-hop legend Chuck D and filmmaker Jon Favreau, while BBC Studios brought world coverage of two significant national and international moments with the Platinum Jubilee and the State Funeral.
Furthermore, BBC Studios’ creativity achieved widespread recognition in the year with 111 awards from 440 nominations and it was the most awarded production group at the BAFTA and RTS Awards. Alongside the success of global children’s phenomenon “Bluey,” which helped to drive consumer products revenue up 10%, the business expanded brand tie-ups, including the successful collaboration between “Minecraft Education” and “Frozen Planet II,” and the launch of a BBC Earth Experience in London.
Sales for Channels & Streaming held steady at £535 million. External challenges including inflation, a volatile advertising market and pressure on pay TV subscriptions affected profits, with EBITDA down 24%. In a challenging market, UKTV grew its commercial market share (known as share of commercial impacts, or SOCI) to a new record of 8.70%.
Moreover, 22 FAST channels are now available internationally offering 6.000 episodes of content on platforms including Samsung TV Plus and Roku, while BritBox international logged 3 million subscribers in eight markets. Now in its first full year within BBC Studios, the international news brand BBC.com reached 123 million a month, with upgrades to the website and app, and key new hires to boost the business in the United States.
Looking ahead, BBC Studios said it has ambitious goals for the future, aiming to double the business from March 2021/22 to March 2028, having already doubled the business in the five years to March 2022. Growing commercial income to bolster total BBC funding is at the heart of BBC Group strategy, and BBC Studios’ growth strategy involves making future investments in content, services and brands while also sustaining linear services.
I am extremely proud of these results, which show the strength of our content driving our growth strategy.” Tom Fussell CEO of BBC Studios