Independent factual production company Barcroft Studios today announces the renaming of the company and a new operational structure following an explosion in growth of digital revenues.
The reorganisation sees parent company Barcroft Holdings renamed as Barcroft Studios and constituent core businesses Barcroft Media (editorial content and distribution), Barcroft Productions (linear and digital TV production) and Barcroft Plus (branded content) gradually phased out. The company’s 60-strong team will now all work under the Barcroft Studios corporate brand, organised under production, development, commercial and operations divisions.
The Barcroft Studios board, which comprises CEO Sam Barcroft, Creative Director Alex Morris and Managing DirectorCaspar Norman have implemented the new business model, similar to those utilised by Hollywood production studios, to better reflect the growing opportunities in a rapidly converging content marketplace.
The reorganisation also sees a number of new hires with former Wall to Wall Media executive Louise Murray joining as Head of Production, and former Spun Gold/ Knickerbockerglory Head of Development Danny Whitfield to oversee external development. Ex-BBC3 Deputy Editor Lizzie Wingham will also join as Editorial Commissioner, supporting the in-house production team as Barcroft Studios further increases its investment in original IP development and content production.
Barcroft Studios has also hired former Off The Fence commercial exec Georgina Eyre to help manage increased demand from distributors and broadcasters in the role of Distribution Consultant.
Monthly advertising revenue generated by the company’s digital content has increased tenfold from January to December 2018 as a result of the success of both Barcroft original series, and the licensing and vertical optimisation of successfulshows on YouTube for new platforms including Facebook Watch and Snapchat.
The company saw its shows reach 1bn monthly views in November 2018, and now boasts over 30 million followers across social media platforms. To date it has created and produced 15 returning series with dedicated pages and audience communities on Facebook Watch, and 8 shows on Snapchat Discover.
The company’s strategy of establishing and incubating hit digital series such as ‘Extreme Love’, ‘Shake My Beauty’,‘Born Different’ and ‘Beast Buddies’ on social media platforms, then supersizing them into television series has resulted in long form co-production deals in 2018 with ITVSGE and TCB Media Rights and subsequent content acquisitions from broadcasters including WEtv, Discovery, Viasat and TV3.
Other recent commissions of projects that were incubated on social media channels include property makeover series‘Amazing Interiors’, the original 12 x 30’ commission for Netflix that started life on the Barcroft TV YouTube series ‘Making Mad’.
“At Barcroft Studios, we have invested in original IP development for over a decade. We’ve now reimagined our group to best exploit the opportunities we’re seeing emerging from creating and distributing successful content. Barcroft is committed to delivering even more world-class factual entertainment, using amazing true stories to delight global audiences,” said Barcroft Studios CEO Sam Barcroft.
Other Barcroft businesses, press agency Barcroft Wire and photographic agency Barcroft Images, will be unaffected by the restructure.
Channel 4 invested in Barcroft Holdings in 2016 via the Growth Fund and Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Allan is Barcroft Studios’ board observer on behalf of Channel 4.