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BBC iPlayer streams up 8% YoY

July 12, 2022

The BBC’s Annual Report reveals the broadcaster reaches 90 per cent of UK adults on average each week, rising to 97 per cent over a month. The BBC says it is the nation’s number one media brand having “increased value for money and become leaner”, while at the same time BBC Studios has broken all previous commercial records.

Richard Sharp, BBC Chairman, commented: “In our centenary year, the BBC is reaching almost half a billion people around the world, it is the UK’s best-known cultural export and the world’s most trusted news organisation. I’m proud of what we have achieved, grateful for the hard work that has delivered it and confident in the BBC’s future. We must now accelerate the ongoing transformation of the BBC, into a modern, audience-focused, digital-first organisation.”

Highlights of the Annual Report include:

  • High impact video content including The Tourist (pictured), The Green Planet and The Euros has drawn millions of viewers. In audio, millions are coming to BBC services, with 62 per cent of adults listening to BBC Radio on average per week, ahead of any other audio provider.
  • BBC iPlayer attracted record audiences with 6.6 billion streams, up 8 per cent, and BBC Sounds saw 1.54 billion UK plays of radio, music and podcasts, up 23 per cent.
  • BBC News is the most trusted news source and is the first place the UK public turns to for impartial news coverage of major events. This year saw record numbers globally tune into BBC coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The BBC reports it is now making 54 per cent of its content outside London. Some of its biggest programmes were made in the nations, from Vigil in Scotland, Hidden in Wales and Conversations with Friends in Northern Ireland. MasterChef will soon be moving to Birmingham.

The BBC sais its investment in the creative sector is supporting economic growth and 53,000 jobs across the UK. Every £1 of the BBC’s economic activity now generates a total of £2.63 for the wider economy.

BBC Studios had a record performance in 21/22, with sales up 30 per cent year-on-year, at £1.6 billion, and a 50 per cent increase in profit (EBITDA) at £226 million, the first time it has recorded profit above £200 million.

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, commented: “This annual report highlights a year of delivery for audiences – both in content and in creating a better, more agile and leaner BBC. There is no room for complacency. We have much work to do to ensure the BBC is fit for a bright future. We must continue to deliver world class UK content in an increasingly competitive media market, support our vibrant creative economy and reflect the modern, diverse United Kingdom, in everything we do. The future is not without challenges, but we have exciting plans in place and much to look forward to as we build a successful BBC for the years ahead.”

Further achievements in the report include:

  • Weekly signed in iPlayer accounts for under 35s have increased to 3.8 million from 3.2 million.
  • The BBC is the only UK provider used by the majority of under-16s per week, ahead of both Netflix and Disney+.
  • BBC Bitesize was used by 75 per cent of secondary school pupils in the past year.
  • BBC income increased to £3.8 billion and £3 billion of this was spent on content and the expansion of digital services – up 17 per cent on last year.
  • BBC Studios has made record sales and profits of £200 million for the first time – an increase of 50 per cent year-on-year, recorded income of £1.63 billion – an increase of 30 per cent year-on-year; and topped £400 million in content sales for the third consecutive year.
  • The BBC is the UK’s best-known cultural export, with 60 per cent awareness across the world – higher than other UK cultural exports such as British sports, universities and technology.

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