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“Consumer appetite for live experiences remains high”

LicensingSource catches up with a number of brand owners to find out how 2021 has been so far, their views on the retail environment and the challenges and positives as we move through the second half of the year.

Today: Stephen Davies, md for consumer products and licensing, BBC Studios.

“In spite of a challenging retail environment, we have seen strong performance across our portfolio of much-loved brands and licensed products,” begins Stephen Davies, md for consumer products and licensing at BBC Studios.

Merchandise for hit preschool series, Bluey is hitting shelves and the company has renewed deals for Hey Duggee with MV Sport, HTI, Golden Bear, Fiddes Payne, Dennicci/Blues Clothing and Kinnerton.

In addition, the partnership with Teemil for BBC Earth is continuing, while for Doctor Who, a new game – The Edge of Reality – plus immersive experience Doctor Who: Time Fracture are among the recent highlights.

Stephen also says that the company has witnessed viewers falling back in love with physical discs and home entertainment during the pandemic, which is benefiting nostalgic shows such as Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses.

Stephen continues: “Live events continue to carry challenges. Clearly there are multiple moving parts, and where there has been so much uncertainty, it’s been challenging to optimise timings and all the other elements that go into creating live experiences. We’ve had to make some difficult decisions, particularly with indoor live shows where social distancing capacities have made productions unviable, and we feel strongly that quality shouldn’t suffer. Thankfully, consumer appetite for live experiences remains high, and we’re already starting to see strong results as events start to move closer to normality.”

As well as Doctor Who: Time Fracture, CBeebies Land and Hotel is open again, Question of Sport Live is in theatres later this year, while Seven Worlds One Planet in Concert is scheduled for December as is Countryfile Christmas in the Park.

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