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Writers Digital Payments pays out over £12 million to screenwriters

UK screenwriters will have received a total of over £12 million in payments via the Writers Digital Payments (WDP) scheme, once the latest BBC distribution takes place on 1 February 2024.

Screenwriters whose work has been shown on BBC iPlayer during 2022 will receive a share of £1,850,000 in the latest distribution.

Writers Digital Payments (WDP), a not-for-profit scheme, was set up by WGGB and the Personal Managers’ Association (PMA) in 2012 and made their first distribution in April 2015.

WDP negotiates a lump sum per year with the broadcaster (currently BBC and ITV) and distributes the funds according to data provided by them. Payments are then made to writers via the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

WDP payments are based on the number of views a show receives on iPlayer and ITVX. This means that writers are rewarded if their show does well on the platforms – the more people who watch their show the more the writer is paid.

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said: “In a digital age where writers’ work is increasingly being exploited online, Writers Digital Payments ensures screenwriters get a rightful share in the success of their creations. It’s a landmark scheme that we are very proud of, and I’m delighted that over £12 million has now hit the pockets of writers.”

Writers don’t have to be members of WGGB or ALCS to be eligible, or need to register. But if they are writing under a contract for a show that is to be broadcast by the BBC or ITV, they should check that their contract contains a clause on WDP.

WGGB members are eligible for contract vetting, and legal advice as part of their membership, so can get in touch with us if they are unsure (email or phone 020 7833 0777).

If you are not a WGGB member you can join online here.