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BBC Worldwide’s BBC.com EVP and MD Luke Bradley-Jones is making his latest senior online commercial hire – British Airways digital marketing head Chris Davies is becoming BBC.com’s commercial director.
He will be responsible for the BBC News, Weather, Business, Technology and other factual and lifestyle sections of BBC sites as seen from outside the UK, including the recently-launched BBC.com/Travel site.
Even though BBCWW uses the term plenty, strictly speaking, BBC.com doesn’t exist – it’s just an internal name (and a redirect URL) for both the BBC.co.uk homepage and the BBC News front page, as seen from outside the UK.
Since sales of ads were allowed to be sold to foreign eyeballs in November 2007, income has grown steadily, rising 41.7 percent in the last financial year to £14.5 ($22.91) million. But the website still made annual loss of £13 ($20.53) million because infrastructure costs are proving a drain (for example, BBCWW had to both co-develop and pay the BBC for its development of the recent BBC News redesign).
Now BBCWW is seeking bigger, more localised ad wins by localising the sites for different geographies. The BBC News site recently started showing North America content, front-and-centre, to users coming from there, for example. Davies will be responsible for future localisations.
BBCWW also recently hired an iPlayer global launch director, to drive through the long-sought-after aim of giving international BBC users the same kind of web VOD platform that has proved so popular domestically.