ABC confirms appointment of Jessica Ellis as head of ABC Commercial

ABC Commercial

Recent content partnerships include deals with Netflix, Stan, iTunes and Spotify

The ABC has appointed Jessica Ellis as the head, ABC Commercial, where she has been overseeing the role since August 2021.

Ellis leads a team that contributes a small, yet significant amount of revenue, to the organisation that relies on the bulk of its dollars from government funding.

ABC Commercial was set a budget target of $27m in financial year 20/21 and delivered revenue of $29m, an amount now set as its 21/22 budget.

Ellis joined the ABC in February 2007, and was prior to acting head of ABC Commercial, was head of content sales and distribution.

Ellis has previously worked in drama investment for Screen Australia and digital media sales for BBC Worldwide.

The department’s revenue success is shared between the broadcaster and the content makers it represents.

Under the leadership of Ellis, the ABC department has signed major output deals with a number of international distribution partners.

The commercial agreements include ongoing partnerships with digital players including Netflix, Stan, iTunes and Spotify and has syndication deals that have expanded ABC News content reach to new audiences.

Ellis has worked closely with the Australian TV production industry to secure global distribution rights to key ABC franchises ensuring Australian stories and voices can be shared with the world.

ABC’s chief financial officer Melanie Kleyn commented on the appointment: “ABC Commercial continues to face the challenges being seen elsewhere in content distribution, media and retail sectors. Jess brings the depth of experience and the range of skills necessary to lead ABC Commercial through the challenges, whilst continuing to align Commercial activities against the ABC’s five-year plan.”

ABC Commercial

On her appointment, Ellis said: “I’m incredibly excited to be stepping up into this role and ready to take on the challenge at such a pivotal and shifting time for our industry. ABC Commercial has one of the most respected and impressive teams in the industry and I’m looking forward to building on their energy and vision.”

ABC Commercial: Where to buy your Back Roads T

ABC Commercial last month announced the launch of the ABC Merch store, where some of the ABC’s brands will come to life in a range of apparel, accessories and homewares.

The ABC Merch store is operated in partnership with Super Special, the same team behind the triple j store.

In its launch phase, the new online store offers merchandise for 12 brands: ABC Classic, ABC Kids, Back Roads, Bananas in Pyjamas, Countdown, Gardening Australia, Giggle and Hoot, Landline, Play School, Story Salad, Rage, and The Wonder Gang. Fans can celebrate by grabbing a Play School rocket clock tee (in kids and adult sizing), a ‘Life’s Better with Music’ ABC Classic tote, a Landline cap or a ‘Future Farmer’ baby romper, and much more.

See also: ABC Commercial details programming slate for MIP China TV market

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