BBC's content arm hopes to drive 50% of revenue

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 8 September 2015
Richard Pattinson

BBC Worldwide's content marketing arm, StoryWorks, is only two months old but the business is already driving a third of the revenue for BBC World News and, with aspirations to grow that to 50%.

The media company's lofty aspirations don't stop there, with the title aiming to grow its audience to reach a staggering half a billion people a week outside the UK by the time the business reaches its centenary in 2022.

Senior vice-president of content for the BBC, Richard Pattinson, was recently in Sydney for the IAB's inaugural leadership summit and he told AdNews he feels that despite the product being new to market, StoryWorks has the native recipe nailed.

“We've got a really good formula here,” he said. “We're clear on the partnerships that brands can have and there's quite a distinct format we use and we obviously have an extremely impactive audience. The BBC's audience in Australia and globally is an extremely premium audience that a large number of brands are keen to reach.”

Patterson wasn’t just in Sydney to talk at the IAB event he was also having conversations in Sydney and Melbourne with agencies, alongside local lead Jelena Li, to sell the offering locally.

While the pair wouldn't be lead on who they were having conversations with over the week they are currently working with brands Stella Artois, Fisher & Paykel and the Defence Force across Australia and New Zealand, and Li told AdNews that the offering is being very well received in this market.

“We've been out in market all week and it gave us great confidence that there's a great appetite for this new division of the BBC. We've been talking about StoryWorks before this week and there's been amazing uplift in the briefs that we're receiving – it's been a really positive,” she said.

The BBC isn't the first publisher in this market to bolster its content capabilities and it isn't the first international publisher to enter the Australian fray. When it comes to competition the BBC isn't concerned, despite local market speculation pointing to the fact it may be going head-to-head with Fairfax Media and its content offering as well as its newest joint venture partner The Huffington Post.

Of the state of the market Li said: “The Huffington Post, The Guardian and The Daily Mail, they are international players but they came into the landscape to create local content for local audiences, and that's not what the BBC's focus is on.

“We're a global platform and our focus is very much on producing content from a global perspective for local audiences, and that's unique, no one else does that in this market and the brands in this market that's exactly why there coming to us, because that's what they value in the BBC,” she said.

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