BBC Worldwide makes major step forward in digital

Date: 16.07.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.11
Category: BBC Worldwide
• Global iPlayer reaches 1m downloads just 12 months after launch
• Cumulative app downloads double from 12m to 25m
• Over 2m downloads of Top Gear Stunt School Revolution in first month
• Facebook fanship up to 25m

Click to tweet: .@BBCWpress BBC Worldwide makes major step forward digital

BBC Worldwide today revealed in its Annual Review that revenue generated by its digital businesses has reached 12.8% of revenue, an increase of 58%, from 8.1% on the previous year.  BBC Worldwide sees digital platforms as an opportunity both to bring new audiences to its content and to produce new and unique forms of engaging entertainment. These revenues also demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to embrace emerging platforms including web, apps, social networks, connected TV and consumer technologies. 

The company successfully launched a pilot of the Global BBC iPlayer in 16 markets across Western Europe, Canada and Australia during the year.  The service has now reached the 1m download mark, just 12 months after the trial started. It has also met its targets set for its pilot and we have extended the trial, with the full support of the BBC Trust, until autumn this year.

In 2011/12, sales to video-on-demand services, both new over-the-top operators as well as established broadcasters, have almost tripled, playing an important role in the growth of our digital revenues and digital reach.

Other successes for the year include growth across paid for, freemium and ad supported apps with 12.5m downloaded over the past year, taking the total to date to 25m.  The BBC News app, which is consistently ranked in the top three BBC Worldwide apps added to the success after gaining a further   10.3m downloads in June on iOS and Android devices.  The gaming division has also taken further strides in the gaming world during 2011/2012, launching an impressive 11 games with a further 12 in development and securing 3.5m downloads. This figure has since increased following the launch of  Top Gear’s Stunt School Revolution which has delivered over 2m downloads in its first month, making it BBC Worldwide’s fastest downloaded game to date.

BBC Worldwide has further embraced social media arena, most notably on Facebook where it has developed a network of branded pages to reach new audiences, and deepen the engagement for our existing fans.  As a result BBC Worldwide’s key brands now have over 25m* fans via Facebook. Our most popular fan pages include Top Gear, Top Gear USA and The Stig which together amassed an increase from 8% to 17% engagement from fans between May and June, taking the total number of fans across all three profiles to 17.6m.  In the same period Doctor Who saw a 27% engagement from users up from 19% and now has a 2.5m fan base.  In addition, an estimated 40% of traffic to our sites including:,, and comes from Facebook, making it an increasingly important source of traffic and contributor to audience and profit growth alike.

John Smith, CEO, BBC Worldwide said: “BBC Worldwide has proven itself to be a leader in the digital sphere this year.  Through embracing advances in technology and striking strategic partnerships with emerging companies, our brands have evolved across a host of platforms.  We have also ensured that more audiences get to experience the wealth of content from both from the BBC and UK creative industry, through placing ourselves at the heart of the digital revolution. ”

Daniel Heaf, EVP & MD, BBC Worldwide Digital added:  “Digital continues to be a priority for BBC Worldwide and this year shows we have made both financial and strategic progress. Crucially, a greater number of consumers are enjoying a greater range of the BBC’s content on more platforms than ever before. The pace of change looks set to continue and we’re excited about the new opportunities we’ll have to simultaneously grow the BBC’s reach and BBC Wordwide’s profits.”

On, the international version of, revealed the site attracted 58.5m unique users throughout the year, up from 55.1m in 2010/2011.  Lifestyle sites such as also continued to go from strength to strength with unique users up by 58.5% and reached 700,000 registered users with over half a billion page views in 2011/2012, and a monthly average of 11.3m unique users, up 35.8% on the previous year. 

For further information on the digital please contact:

Cassandra Power, Digital communications manager, BBC Worldwide /07739300280

For further details on the Annual Review 2011/2012 please contact:

Esther Thompson, Head of Corporate Communications, BBC Worldwide

Note to editors:

* The Facebook users’ figures exclude BBC Worldwide Channel profiles.