The BBC has published its annual report, covering April 2019 to March 2020, stating it has been a strong year for the corporation’s programmes and services.
However, it warned that while it has seen good progress, “the BBC can take nothing for granted and must keep reforming at an urgent pace.”
The report reveals that during the time period covered, “over 90 per cent of the UK population used the BBC each week,” with the figure rising to rose to 94 per cent in March this year during the coronavirus outbreak.
BBC iPlayer saw a record 4.8 billion requests to stream programmes in 2019/20.
The report added that some of the BBC’s measurements “are not going in the right direction” as the broadcaster’s headcount has increased from 19,231 to 19,572 and senior leader numbers have gone up from 250-253. The report added that the BBC will keep a focus on cost reduction so that the public service headcount is smaller. “The BBC also has to do more to better serve and reflect all licence fee payers. It is critical that the BBC gets this right,” added the report.
New BBC director general Tim Davie said, “This annual report is a good base from which to create a modern, highly efficient BBC that truly reflects Britain. There are challenges ahead. We need to keep reforming with urgency so that we are trusted, relevant and indispensable in the digital age.
“Our guiding principle is that we are a BBC for all – a universal public service to serve and represent everyone in every part of the UK. Our focus must be on making sure we deliver outstanding and unique value to all audiences – those who pay for us and are in effect our customers – in return for their licence fee.
“That means we must renew our commitment to impartiality; focus on unique, high impact content; extract more from online and build our commercial income. That is now our focus and challenge going forward. We should take nothing for granted.”