Life Story episode five included footage by cameraman Hugh Miller, who spent three weeks designing and building bespoke equipment to capture the extraordinary landscaping behaviour of a tiny Japanese pufferfish (Torquigener sp.) beneath the waves ©Kat Brown 2014
New genre brands
In 2013/14 we set out an ambitious plan to launch three genre brands, BBC First, BBC Earth and BBC Brit, offering audiences premium first runs outside the UK of the very best in drama, premium factual and factual entertainment. Within the year we successfully launched BBC First in Australia on the Foxtel subscription TV platform and BBC Brit and BBC Earth as linear channels in Poland. That was marked with a unique promotional stunt involving a giant statue of Top Gear's The Stig crossing Europe to Warsaw. BBC Earth launched on BBC.com and BBC.co.uk. The site has reached an average of 3.1m unique browsers per month since launching in September.
Stand-out achievements for our core brands included Doctor Who: The World Tour. Building on the success of the 50th anniversary we embarked on a 12-day global promotional tour for series eight. We visited South Korea, Australia, USA, Mexico and Brazil introducing the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and companion Clara, Jenna Coleman, to international fans. This was a first for a British TV series and featured a creative social media programme with activity on Facebook generating 130m post impressions and more than 2m video views across Facebook and YouTube.
As part of the launch activity for Top Gear S22, we produced an exclusive video with LEGO® that has to date been viewed 9.4m times on YouTube and Facebook and held the exclusive 'An Evening With' Top Gear in London with all three presenters. The event was watched by 1.1m fans on BBC iPlayer.
Content remained at the heart of our strategy this year and the commitment to deliver ambitious premium content from both BBC in-house and indies reached new heights. Titles included the Golden Globe-winning drama The Honourable Woman with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Wolf Hall with Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance, the critically acclaimed Happy Valley with Sarah Lancashire, writer Jimmy McGovern's Banished, natural history landmark Life Story, comedy sequel The Wrong Mans S2, new children's titles Hey Duggee and Nelly & Nora, and the groundbreaking music title Sonic Highways from The Foo Fighters. We also welcomed back Doctor Who S8, Orphan Black S2 and Top Gear S22. We also announced new co-development, first-look and distribution partnerships with a variety of independent production companies across a range of genres including Curve Media for factual entertainment, King Bert for comedy and Red Planet, Cuba Pictures and Lookout Point for drama.
Our formats business also delivered an impressive slate with new BBC Worldwide commissions launching within the year including Mud, Sweat and Gears and You're Back in the Room.
We continued to embrace the opportunities of an increasingly digital landscape. Growth of third party streaming services continued to increase demand for our programming, as compelling and exclusive content became the key to winning consumers' attention. This year we continued to supply content to leading international services including Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix. We also formed partnerships with start-up services, such as Stan. in Australia.
In the UK, work commenced on our own digital ownership service, BBC Store, which will launch in autumn 2015, expanding BBC Worldwide's portfolio of direct-to-consumer digital services and complementing BBC Shop, our ecommerce platform in the UK, USA and Australia. We are also developing new opportunities to launch BBC branded digital video services that complement our global brands.
BBC.com celebrated another year of growth, reaching a monthly average of 85.5m unique browsers, up 8.3% year on year and peaking in January at 100.8m. Video views across all platforms averaged 36.6m, up 48.7% year on year, with a peak of 48.7m in January. There was also strong growth from mobile and tablet browsers, up 39.5% and 34.9% respectively within the year. The feature sections also flourished, attracting an average of 8.3m unique browsers up 76.6% year on year (2013/14: 4.7m).
We successfully launched BBC First in Australia on the Foxtel subscription TV platform and BBC Brit and BBC Earth as linear channels in Poland
Our commitment to deliver ambitious premium content reached new heights, while formats also delivered an impressive slate
Video views across BBC.com averaged 36.6m per month across all platforms, up 48.7% year on year
The Wrong Mans S2 ©BBC 2014
This year, we had an increasingly important role to play at the heart of the UK's thriving creative and digital eco-system, both at home and overseas.
The creative industries are a major success story for the UK, generating £76.9bn Gross Value Added, the measure of direct contribution to the economy, £17.3bn service exports and 1.71m jobs and growing faster than the rest of the UK economy. Alongside the public service BBC, we supported, partnered with and showcased the best of British creativity.
In the UK, we buoyed the indie sector, working with over 250 independent producers, selling their shows internationally and returning £113.1m to the sector, as set out in the Chairman's Statement. The minority equity positions taken in Lookout Point and Curve Media, referred to in the Chief Executive's Review, enable us to further enrich our content supply through first-look rights and offer development and distribution opportunities to programme makers.
BBC Worldwide Labs, our digital media start-up programme, supported a further six innovative UK entrepreneurial teams looking to grow this year. All benefitte d from office space, mentoring and access to experts and, to date, ten partnership deals have been signed with BBC Worldwide Labs companies to work on our own brands and projects.
We facilitated in bringing the UK's creative industries together to speak with one, more impactful voice, with Tim Davie co-chairing UK Trade & Investment's Sector Advisory Group and leading the Creative Industries Council's International work. This year we also became a founder supporter of the Creative Industries Federation.
Internationally, we acted as a spearhead for the UK's creative industries around the world, offering a platform for the best of British creativity as the UK's top distributor, operator of over 40 channel feeds in over 120 territories, through our own BBC channels internationally, our UK joint venture UKTV with Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc., BBC AMERICA with AMCN, BBC Kids with Knowledge Network Corporation and BBC Canada with Shaw Communications Inc. In total, our international channels have 152.1m (excluding the BBC World News channel) subscribers across the world. As well as this, we have a global presence across digital and social media platforms.
Exports were increasingly important to the UK's television industry, with TV trade body PACT reporting total sales of UK television to international markets up 5% to £1,284m in 2013/14. We generated exports for the BBC and the wider TV industry, with over 700 international delegates attending BBC Worldwide Showcase 2015 in Liverpool and an increase of 3.2% to £345.3m in TV and digital headline sales this year. A survey of international business leaders showed that over half agreed that the BBC plays a direct role in influencing their business decisions in favour of the UK.
We supported a number of creative industries export initiatives this year, including the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai and the Technology Innovators Forum in China and Los Angeles. £150m of business deals, plus further UK-China partnerships such as the opening of our CBeebies English language learning centre in Shanghai, were announced as part of the GREAT Festival.
Over the year, we have used our presence to act as a trailblazer for the wider UK creative industries in new markets, with the BBC brand and its association with premium content shining a light on the talent and creativity coming from the UK.
In the UK, we buoyed the indie sector, working with over 250 independent producers, selling their shows internationally and returning £113.1m to the sector
Internationally, we acted as a spearhead for the UK's creative industries around the world, offering a platform for the best of British creativity
The Bake Off format has been licensed to 19 countries, including Turkey, which debuted this year. Junior Bake Off also launched for the first time outside the UK in Thailand this year. Alongside formats we sell programmes across the globe including the forthcoming Terry and Mason's Food Trip (working title) from Curve Media.
Doctor Who S8 launched in August and welcomed Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor. To date the series has aired in 70 countries. ©BBC/BBC Worldwide 2014
We operate in a fast-paced and ever-changing media landscape. While the television industry remains very significant globally - Deloitte estimates that in an average month, over 360bn hours of long-form video will be watched globally - short-form content should account for a further 10bn hours in aggregate of monthly play-out in 2015, with estimates of US households accessing subscription VOD (SVOD) range from 40-57%.
The past year has witnessed a rise in hybrid content service launches; further consolidation of media organisations, with aggregate value of European media deals in 2013 and 2014 worth three times more than in the three preceding years combined; continued appetite for drama globally; and increasing competition in sales and distribution.
We pride ourselves on delivering the best of British content and BBC branded services to audiences across the world, as the number one content distributor in Europe and the home of premium content and innovative BBC branded services. To maintain our position we need to evolve in line with the market, and we took active steps in the year to re-shape our business to that end.
While BBC AMERICA's ratings and critical acclaim had continued to climb in recent years, we concluded that joining forces with a company which places a high value on premium, intelligent and distinctive content, would better secure the channel's future growth in an increasingly challenging environment for independent channel operators. The partnership gives BBC AMERICA opportunities to grow reach further, as part of a compelling and unique channel portfolio and a more potent force in the US market. Closer to home, we took an equity stake in independent production company Lookout Point, and in two more UK independents since year end, intended to support their growth and secure our independent pipeline in a consolidating market.
We also started the transformation of our direct-to-consumer portfolio, developing and launching the new genre brands described in the Strategic Progression section, rolling out three new channels by the year end, and a further four by start of June, with more to follow in 2015/16. Brand-building in the linear TV world will give us an important foothold in audiences' hearts and minds as the transition to digital continues.
It is well known that world-class organisations strive for a high-performance culture by setting a clear direction, providing development opportunities and a creative working environment to engage their people. BBC Worldwide is no exception and in the year we engaged the vast majority of our employees in a series of workshops around the world to identify those areas we could put more focus on to achieve our aim of high performance.
A number of areas were identified, including leadership behaviours, recognition and development. As a result, we have already started work on this, developing a leadership commitment made up of six high-performance behaviours which all our employees can expect of our leaders. We have put in place a number of new development programmes - for senior leaders, and emerging leaders - all aimed at building leadership and management capability.
For the whole company, we also introduced a new development intranet site and tools to enhance virtual and face-to-face learning along with a complete curriculum of new courses. In the area of recognition, we have launched a new global awards scheme to highlight and recognise excellence. The coming year will see further progress in all these areas.
Finally, we wanted to enhance the creativity of our work space and the year saw a number of office moves, including the merging of our two London sites into the refurbished iconic Television Centre, as well as new offices in Warsaw, Johannesburg and Singapore. By removing assigned desks and putting teams into more efficient, open-plan and creative work spaces we aim to encourage a more flexible way of working, both in situ and remotely, and interaction between different teams.
Katherine Mills: Mind Games ©UKTV 2014
Deloitte estimates that in an average month, over 360bn hours of long-form video will be watched globally
We pride ourselves on delivering the best of British content and BBC branded services to audiences across the world
It is well known that world-class organisations strive for a high performance culture by setting a clear direction, providing development opportunities and a creative working environment. BBC Worldwide is no exception