UKTV has reported a year of record growth in 2021, with particular strength from its Drama channel and its highest-ever viewing share across the bouquet.
UKTV achieved a record share of commercial impacts (SOCI) of 8.52 percent and a record viewing share of 4.8 percent in 2021.
Among UKTV’s seven channels, Drama had its best year on record, with an SOCI growth of 14.1 percent and an 11 percent increase in share of viewing. The Gold channel was up 7 percent on its 2020 share and saw its biggest Q1 and summer since 2013. Alibi saw a 5 percent share increase.
Dave also saw significant growth in 2021, with a 14 percent increase in its 16-34 viewing share. Two of the top ten shows across the network were UKTV originals that aired on Dave: Meet the Richardsons and Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable. Dave also won Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards.
Four other UKTV originals made the top ten list, including Annika (Alibi), Secrets of the London Underground (Yesterday), Hornby: A Model World (Yesterday) and Bangers and Cash (Yesterday).
The VOD service UKTV Play saw monetizable views rise 34 percent and added 1 million registered users. UKTV originals were responsible for driving strong viewing performances and active users.
Social AVOD formed a key part of UKTV’s digital strategy in 2021, which saw the company relaunch the Dave YouTube channel. Overall, UKTV’s social feeds saw impressions up 12 percent year-on-year, averaging 20 million impressions per month, and followers increased by 20 percent.
“UKTV experienced strong growth in 2020 and to continue that momentum through 2021 is an incredible achievement,” said Marcus Arthur, UKTV’s CEO. “Our award-winning slate of UKTV originals keeps going from strength to strength, with originations featuring six times in the top ten shows across the network. UKTV’s drama commissioning has also reached new heights, with critically acclaimed Annika breaking records on Alibi, and shows such as Ragdoll exciting audiences in the U.K. and internationally. And, of course, our hit originals are supported by premiere acquisitions and the very best BBC content, helping to fuel the success of our channels, with Dave winning Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards.”
Arthur continued, “As we look forward to 2022, we will continue UKTV’s growth trajectory by working closely with domestic and international production partners, investing smartly in content and expanding the footprint of our much-loved brands.”
Richard Watsham, UKTV’s director of commissioning, said, “As we enter 2022, the network’s increasing share, backed by BBC favorites and smart third-party acquisitions, provides a fantastic platform from which to launch our broadest ever slate of commissions. We’ll see the first comedies from Dave’s diverse writers’ initiative as well as digital and short-form scaling up, giving us a more holistic approach to new talent development. More than ever, both linear and digital, new talent and established faces, acquired and commissioned content are all pulling together to take UKTV into the next stage of its growth.”