Writers Digital Payments pays out over a million to writers

BBC screenwriters have received over £1.3 million in payments for viewings of their work on BBC iPlayer during 2020, according to figures just released by Writers Digital Payments (WDP).

The not-for-profit scheme, set up by WGGB and the Personal Managers’ Association (PMA), completed its latest distribution to writers last month.

The recent pay-out follows seven previous BBC distributions and two ITV distributions.

Since the first WDP payments were made in 2015, over £6.8 million has hit the bank accounts of writers.

WDP negotiates a lump sum per year with the broadcaster and distributes the funds according to data provided by them. Payments are then made to writers via ALCS.

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

Writers don’t have to be members of WGGB 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).

The distribution schedule varies, but for the BBC it usually takes place every December/January.

WDP’s longer term strategy is to broaden the scheme out to other broadcasters beyond BBC and ITV.