Earnings: BBC.com Ads Help BBCWW Soar; Big YouTube And iTunes Income

BBC Worldwide digital revenue ballooned from £13.9 million to £21.9 million in the year to March 31, thanks to ads on the new BBC.com and to sales from the likes of iTunes and YouTube, according to the fascinating 2007/08 annual review

BBC.com: The controversial BBC.com made £1.5 million from ads and sponsorships since its November launch – figures that might pique newspaper rivals’ interest as an indication of how much the BBC can pull down from advertising. Next year, though, BBC.com is planning to run more ads and “an international commercial iPlayer functionality is being explored“, digital MD David Moody (pictured) said.

Syndication: Distribution and sale of clips to destinations like YouTube, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iTunes, MySpace TV and Playstation reaped a sixfold revenue increase at £7 million – testament to the off-site dissemination strategy.

Kangaroo: No update was provided for the upcoming commercial VOD JV, which is “subject to various approvals” and stuck in a Competition Commission backwater for the next six months.

Despite the gains, digital losses grew from £3.9 million to £10.9 million after “substantial investment”. Within that, BBC.com’s setup clocked a £5.7 million loss for the debutante, and the impressive syndication income was offset by Kangaroo setup costs so losses there doubled to £4.6 million. BBCWW pledged to continue investing next year, however.

Overall BBC Worldwide profit was up 17 percent to £118 million, on 13 percent better revenue of £916 million – slower growth than last year. Digital’s part in the overall mix grew from 1.1 percent to 2.7 percent.