WildBrain steady in 2020, despite COVID

The company saw a year-over-year revenue increase in Q4, thanks to a bump from shows like Netflix's Johnny Test that helped to offset YouTube ad declines.
September 23, 2020

An increase in production revenue in Q4 has helped WildBrain offset revenue losses in the final quarter of its 2020 fiscal as it realigns its sales strategy to prepare for 2021.

The Canadian company reported financials for its Q4 and full fiscal 2020, which shows a year-over-year revenue loss of 3%.

Revenue in fiscal 2020 came to US$318.7 million (CAD$425.6 million), down slightly from US$329.3 million (CAD$439.8 million) in fiscal 2019. Q4 2020 revenue was US$69.5 million (CAD$92.9 million), compared to US$81.4 million (CAD$108.8 million) in the same quarter last year, with declines attributed to ad revenue loss related to COVID-19 for YouTube channel WildBrain Spark, as well as YouTube’s ad policy for kids content.

WildBrain Spark revenue dropped by 64% in Q4 2020 to US$4.8 million (CAD$6.5 million), versus US$13.4 million (CAD$17.9 million) in Q4 2019. The decline comes despite a 55% year-over-year viewership increase in 2020. Spark had 72.1 billion views this fiscal year, compared to 32.6 billion in 2019.

WildBrain had a US$3-million (CAD$4-million) net income gain for Q4 2020, compared to a net loss of US$47.3 million (CAD$62.8 million) in Q4 2019, partially due to a 46% increase in production revenue. Proprietary projects such as Snoopy in Space for Apple TV+ and Go, Dog, Go! and Johnny Test (pictured) for Netflix were primary production revenue drivers for Q4. The company also implemented a number of cost-saving measures earlier this year, including temporary salary reductions and furloughs in its WildBrain Spark division, to offset losses.

Distribution revenue outside of WildBrain Spark, was stable year over year, coming in at US$44.3 million (CAD$59.2 million) in fiscal 2020, compared to US$44.7 million (CAD$59.8 million) in fiscal 2019.

At US$115 million (CAD$154 million), consumer products revenue declined 4% year over year, compared to US$120 million (CAD$160.3 million) in 2019.

WildBrain recently hired Caroline Tyre as VP of global sales and rights strategy to lead its international sales team and implement a commercial content strategy. The new role is part of a sales division reorganization that includes the promotion of Lara Ilie from VP of rights strategy to VP of revenue share and transactional.

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