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BBC reaches record global audience

The BBC reaches a record weekly audience of 348 million people worldwide, a 13 per cent increase on last year, according to figures released by the BBC Global Audience Measure (GAM).

The figures show that the BBC’s weekly global news audience has increased by 38 million people, or 13 per cent, to a total of 320 million.

For the second year running, television (162 million) is a bigger platform than radio (147 million) for the BBC’s international news services.  All platforms have grown since last year – television, radio, and digital (80 million).

The BBC World Service, shortly to begin adding new and enhanced services across the world after receiving new funding from the UK Government, has seen its audience increase to 246 million, from 210 million last year. This growth is largely driven by new TV news bulletins in languages other than English.

BBC World Service English radio has again shown a significant audience upturn, with an audience of 66 million.

BBC Global News, which comprises BBC World News and bbc.com, has seen its audience grow to 108 million.

Francesca Unsworth, Director of BBC World Service Group, said: “These are fantastic results which show the BBC going from strength to strength around the world and demonstrate the global appetite for accurate, impartial news. We’re about to begin the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s, thanks to the additional funding agreed by the UK Government last year. This will ensure we reach more people than ever, especially in countries where media freedom is under threat.”

Tim Davie, Director, Global and CEO, BBC Worldwide, commented: “BBC Worldwide continues to fuel international audiences’ appetite for premium content and in the second year of the Global Audience Measure, we’ve reached 36.4 million people per week across our owned and operated TV and digital platforms providing a 27.4 million incremental contribution to the corporation’s total.”

Other key findings include:

  • The top 10 markets for BBC’s international news services are the US (35 million); Nigeria (35 million); India (23 million); Pakistan (13 million); Iran (12 million); Egypt (11 million); Tanzania (10 million); Brazil (8 million); Afghanistan (7 million); Bangladesh (6 million).  The figures in Brazil are notable because it is a digital-only market for the BBC. US reach increases to 43 illionm when BBC Worldwide figures are added.
  • In total, 152 million are accessing BBC news in English; 201 million in another language. The audience for non-English language TV (91 million) is nearly as big as the audience for non-English language radio (94 million)
  • The figures show the BBC on track to reach the target of 500 million weekly reach by 2022
  • One in every 16 adults around the world uses BBC News.

The GAM is measured every year by the BBC using a consistent methodology comprising surveys, ratings data, and digital analytics.  These data sources are converted into individual adult weekly reach and de-duplicated.

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