BBC Worldwide throws its weight into content game

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 2 July 2015

Brands need to loosen the reins if they want to succeed in content marketing. That's the word from BBC Worldwide as it joins the content marketing fray with the launch of StoryWorks.

The new arm of BBC Worldwide will develop branded, native and sponsored content for external clients, but its director of ad sales and brand partnership for ANZ, Alistair McEwan, has said that one hurdle the discipline needs to overcome is brands learning to relinquish control.

“Successful content marketing requires a degree of release that trusts in publishing partners thatyou choose to work with to draw on their very deep pools of expertise,” he said.

“Brands have different approaches to it depending on their level of comfort in working with publishing partners and how confident they feel to release a little bit of control.”

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, announced the launch of StoryWorks at the Cannes Lions this week.

The Australian arm of the business, headed up by content solutions manager Jelena Li in Sydney, is already talking to various names and large FMCG companies in the market.

McEwan said that globally, the creation of content marketing accounts for almost half of BBC Worldwide's revenues, while
currently in Australia, it sits at around 10-15%. But he sees huge potential in the market and says he expects the figure will rapidly catch up with global markets.

However, with agencies and brands also eyeing the space, including the launch of a WPP content arm with Daily Mail and
Snapchat just this week, McEwan said that competition has moved beyond rival publishers.

While agency partners have a head for strategy, McEwan said a publisher's expertise in content makes its role critical, something he believes gives StoryWorks an edge in
the market.

“The internet has become completely democratised and brands themselves have huge intellectual properties that they can draw on,” he added.

“They are now realising the unique assets that they hold and the value that it can lead to.”

For more on the world of content marketing check out the special report in the current issue of AdNews magazine (26 June) – subscribe now in both print and on iPad here.

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