Year of exceptional delivery as BBC marks centenary
Delivery for audiences has been our biggest achievement. In a world of rapidly increasing choice the BBC continues to reach 90% of UK adults on average each week, rising to 97% over a month
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This annual report highlights a year of delivery. The BBC is the nation’s number one media brand. We have increased value for money and become leaner, while at the same time BBC Studios has smashed all previous commercial records.
Delivery for audiences has been our biggest achievement. In a world of rapidly increasing choice the BBC continues to reach 90% of UK adults on average each week, rising to 97% over a month.
High impact video content including The Tourist, The Green Planet and The Euros has drawn millions of viewers. In audio, millions are coming to our services, with 62% 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%, and BBC Sounds saw 1.54 billion UK plays of radio, music and podcasts, up 23%.
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 continues to drive change and improvements in this area, including the publication of our 10-point plan on impartiality and editorial standards.
The publication of this year’s Annual Report and Accounts comes against a backdrop that includes the most challenging media market in the BBC’s 100-year history; super-inflation in TV production; and tough choices brought about by the Licence Fee settlement for the remainder of the Charter.
The BBC’s Across the UK plans are being realised. We are now making 54% of our content outside London and reflecting more of the nation back to itself. Some of our 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.
Our 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% year-on-year, at £1.6 billion, and a 50% increase in profit (EBITDA) at £226 million, the first time it has recorded profit above £200 million.
We continue to work towards our 50:20:12 staffing targets. Our staff make-up is now 49.5% women, 16.4% black and minority ethnic and 9.3% disabled - all up on last year. We also introduced a new socio-economic diversity target of 25% this year. We will now redouble our efforts to reach all our workforce diversity targets including at leadership level, which we know we need to go further and faster on.
In this record-breaking year we also continued our journey to be a simpler and leaner BBC, reducing the public service headcount further by 409 to 17,781 and reducing Senior Manager numbers by 3%. We delivered £274 million of annual savings, bringing total savings delivered since 2016/17 to over £1 billion.
We also set out our path to reach Net Zero by 2030.
Richard Sharp, BBC Chairman says: “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.”
Tim Davie, BBC Director-General says: “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.”
Content highlights this year have included:
TV and Player: Time, Bloodlands, Shetland, Guilt, The Pact, The Responder, Sherwood, Gentleman Jack, House of Maxwell.
BBC Three: returned as a broadcast channel backing ideas and new talent, like Kayleigh Llewellyn’s BAFTA winning In My Skin.
Radio and Sounds: Forgotten Composers on Radio 3 and Things Fell Apart on Radio 4, podcasts including Ukrainecast and The Coming Storm.
Music: The BBC Proms celebrated the return of live music on a scale not seen since before the pandemic with 61 concerts over 44 days, featuring more than 2,000 musicians.
Sport: 25 million watched Euro 2020 as Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions were beaten on penalties.
News: England news bulletins at 6:30pm on BBC One continue to be collectively the most watched news programme on TV and the BBC’s Ukrainian language digital platforms have reached a record 6 million people.
Nations: We put BBC Scotland at the heart of our COP26 coverage, launched an official partnership between the BBC and Creative Wales, and reflected the centenary of Partition with a mix of landmark programmes from Northern Ireland.
Further achievements in the report include:
Weekly signed in iPlayer accounts for under 35s have increased to 3.8m from 3.2m.
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% of secondary school pupils in the past year.
BBC income increased to £3.8bn and £3bn of this was spent on content and the expansion of our digital services – up 17% on last year.
BBC Studios has made record sales and profits of £200 million for the first time – an increase of 50% year-on-year, recorded income of £1,630 million - an increase of 30% 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% awareness across the world – higher than other UK cultural exports such as British sports, universities and technology.
Last month we set out plans to become a digital first organisation. The first phase represents £500m of efficiencies, cuts and reinvestment to drive changes to content and output.
We’ve also published our latest update on our ongoing work on impartiality.
We continue to deliver for audiences through brilliant content and events that bring the nation together like the Queen’s Jubilee and sporting events including Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games, the Women’s Euros and the World Cup.
Source BBC One
July 14, 2022 4:11am ET by BBC One