Brands with Influence (BWI) have been appointed by BBC Worldwide to manage the brand licensing of the hit tween/teen show The Next Step.

Brands with Influence (BWI) have been appointed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, to manage the brand licensing of the hit tween/teen show The Next Step produced by Temple Street Productions in Canada.  Working closely with BBC Worldwide, BWI will take responsibility for all territories outside of North and South America.

The show has been a huge success in Canada, Australia and now the UK, with nearly 10 million requests on BBC iPlayer and a second series about to hit screens. On the back of its success, Brands with Influence is going to be presenting the show to licensees for the first time at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) this year (stand B057) and then at MIPCOM the following week.

Talking about the new appointment Martin Lowde Managing Director of BWI explained, “Coming on the back of such high demand in other markets we are delighted to be presenting The Next Step at this year’s BLE. This high energy and original scripted reality drama works on many levels, appealing to boys and girls, as well as parents. We are also seeing how The Next Step works well across multiple platforms including a really engaged social media following and presence online. The website alone receives over 62,000 unique browsers a week”.

Canada, now on its third series, has seen an overwhelming support for the stars of the show during the live promotional tours and in the lead up to the upcoming concert tour in 2015. The region has also seen a very successful licensing programme managed by Segal Licensing which has included an exclusive direct to retail partnership with Walmart.

Henrietta Hurford-Jones, BBC Worldwide Director of Children’s Content said, “The Next Step offers great entertainment for tweens and teens and we’ve seen the fan base grow rapidly. In the UK, for example, audience numbers have increased to an average of 97,000. We are thrilled to be working with BWI to extend the reach of this popular brand and bring the show to life with some truly great licensed product”.

The Next Step has been described as Glee meets Strictly Come Dancing, and sees a group of dancers having to put their difficulties behind them in order to compete to win at the highest level of dance championships.

“The show strikes an aspirational chord with tweens globally – packed not just with entertaining drama and dance, but positive messages about wellness, sportsmanship, and striving for success” said John Young, Managing Director of Temple Street Productions.

BWI will be initially looking for licensees keen to work across the UK, Australia, Germany and France, with further international territories coming on stream in the next few months.