Getting closer to consumers, building strong relationships with
them, and using the insight gained from this to develop better
products, are all essential to our growth strategy.
Digital platforms are highly important in understanding consumer
preferences. We can now immediately see if something has caught
fans' interest as the number of views, likes or fans climbs.
Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are particularly
key. With Top Gear, for example, we had our first hugely successful
experience in building a fanbase online via Facebook, outlined
below. Based on this learning, we then launched a Facebook page for
Doctor Who in December 2010, and in just a few months it had
800,000 fans. Via this, we engage daily with fans, give them the
most up-to-date news, and provide a single destination for all
things Doctor Who. The page has also proved a valuable marketing
tool, delivering 12.6% of traffic to the BBC's Doctor Who website
The key characteristics of online are that it is immediate and
global. But if fans haven't been able to see the latest episode of
their favourite TV series, they can't be part of the global online
conversation about it. Consequently, they no longer wait for shows
to be aired by a local broadcaster (often long after the initial
transmission in the home territory) but find them, legally or
illegally, on the internet.
For this reason we have been working to bring closer together
the transmission times of major series broadcast in our main
English-speaking markets of the UK, USA and Australia. In April
2011, the latest series of Doctor Who launched within 24 hours in
the UK and USA. The ratings results for the premiere in the USA
were our highest ever (1.4m). Doctor Who was also the number-three
TV series purchased globally on iTunes in 2010/11. In the USA this
was largely driven by our highest-ever level of marketing
investment - including social media engagement.
We also use our understanding of what consumers want to build
better products for them. When Lonely Planet was developing its new
Discover and core guidebook series, it used focus groups and
surveyed its panel of over 3500 international travellers to ensure
they would appeal to consumer segments that were currently
underserved. Since the Discover series launched in March 2010,
Lonely Planet's sales of all its guides to the destinations
covered by the series have increased by 32.5%.
Perhaps the richest experience for TV fans is to engage with
their favourite show live. To this end, we have further developed
our Live Events business in the year. Over 2m people visited a BBC
live show somewhere in the world in 2010/11, bringing total
attendance at our events to date to over 9m. We mounted another
international Top Gear Live tour featuring the UK show's
presenters. Walking with Dinosaurs was rated the most successful
world tour of 2010 (Pollstar). And in the UK, our team produced a
Doctor Who live arena show and our first Experience and Exhibition.
Both opened in London to critical and public acclaim.
Audiences also enjoy seeing natural history footage on the big
screen and immersing themselves in new worlds through quality 3D
productions. Therefore a new venture was created for our natural
history umbrella brand BBC Earth. In November 2010, BBC Earth Films
announced the development of three major natural history films: One
Life, Walking with Dinosaurs 3D and Enchanted Kingdom 3D. We intend
these to be ground-breaking "event films" that will bring the
natural world's most awe-inspiring stories to cinema screens across