Digital Media develops new opportunities to deliver our content to consumers via digital platforms including mobiles. Traffic to our websites, including BBC.com, the international version of the BBC's website, has risen to 66m unique users globally.
Sales of £30.0m in 2009/10 represent year-on-year growth of £2.5m or 9.0%. The business reduced losses from £(29.0)m last year to £(20.8)m in 2009/10.
BBC.com is the international version of the BBC's renowned news site bbc.co.uk, and revenues come almost exclusively from advertising which can be seen only outside the UK. In 2009/10 it generated sales of £14.5m, which represents growth of 41.7% on the prior year. Losses for the year increased from £(12.0)m in 2008/09 to £(13.0)m owing to additional co-investment with the BBC in the technology infrastructure and investment in sales capability. In most other areas, operating costs were contained or reduced year on year.
Traffic grew to 54m monthly users (Omniture Mar 2010) and the site has now established a broad range of global advertisers across Europe, Asia and North America. The recession impacted the first half of the year but in the second half the business grew across all markets and gained greater traction in the US.
Investment continued on the development of a new technical platform designed to deliver a more flexible site enabling enhanced localisation to drive ad sales. This will be unveiled in 2010/11. Future plans include a travel site within BBC.com and investigating ways of introducing iPlayer functionality for international audiences.
The sites topgear.com, bbcgoodfood.com, radiotimes.com and gardenersworld.com support their namesake BBC Worldwide brands in the web arena. Revenues, mainly derived from advertising, have been under pressure (UK online display advertising revenue shrank by 4.4% in 2009 - IAB). Despite this, Global Websites increased sales by £0.5m to £3.8m in 2009/10, representing 15.4% growth year on year. Only the smallest property, gardenersworld.com, experienced decline (8.4%) along with the market, while bbcgoodfood.com, topgear.com and radiotimes.com revenues grew by 113.5%, 25.4% and 16.0% respectively. This was achieved thanks to a huge growth in traffic, social media marketing and a good performance from the ad sales team.
Traffic to topgear.com and bbcgoodfood.com was up by 62.5% and 131.3% respectively (Google Analytics). gardenersworld.com won Website of the Year 2009 at the Garden Media Guild Awards. Radio Times and BBC Good Food developed successful iPhone apps, with the former becoming one of Apple's top paid-for apps of 2009. Global Websites figures also include the costs of Kangaroo, a joint venture with ITV and C4 blocked by the Competition Commission (2008/09), and development of alternative video-on-demand strategies (2009/10). The operation was reorganised in 2009/10 with non-performing sites such as bbcgreen.com closed and the staff base rationalised.
Motion Gallery licenses footage from the BBC archive for use in films, advertisements and TV programmes. With most of BBC Motion Gallery's clients being in the broadcasting and advertising sectors it was impacted by the economic downturn. Sales of £11.7m were 16.6% down year on year. The headline loss for the year was £(2.5)m, but this included one-off costs related to implementing a new sales and operational strategy in partnership with Thought Equity Motion (TEM). Under the deal, BBC Motion Gallery will benefit from TEM's advanced technology platform and the two operations will cross-represent sales. TEM will represent Motion Gallery sales in North America and Asia Pacific with Motion Gallery selling for both in EMEA. It is anticipated this will deliver faster growth and lower operating costs.
Prospects for the online advertising market are considerably improved for 2010/11 but the level of recovery will vary market by market. The year will see BBC.com launch a range of new services, including localised editions and apps for both mobile and internet TV platforms.
|BBC Motion Gallery||11.7||14.0|
|BBC Motion Gallery||(2.5)||(2.0)|