BBC Sounds draws record listeners

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A surge in podcast listening, including big hits such as The Missing Cryptoqueen, That Peter Crouch Podcast and Tunnel 29, has helped drive record listeners to BBC Sounds.

The BBC reports that its digital home for all audio now has around 3 million weekly users, up from 1.3 million in June. As well as the rapid increase in weekly users on BBC Sounds, there have been more than 630 million plays of audio on Sounds across podcasts, live and on demand radio programmes and music mixes.

Between February and November 2019, there was a 74 per cent increase in plays of podcasts and on demand radio programmes on the BBC.

Controller of BBC Sounds, Jonathan Wall, commented: “It’s just over a year since we launched BBC Sounds and we’ve seen huge growth to around 3 million weekly users. Sounds has allowed us to up our creative ambition and this year’s various hit BBC podcasts are brilliant examples of how we can make audio with great new UK talent on and off mic that sounds different. We’ll be launching new podcasts in early 2020 so there’s plenty more binge worthy audio to come on BBC Sounds.”

Some of this year’s biggest BBC podcast hits are (all figures are combined downloads or plays on BBC Sounds and other platforms in the UK and outside of the UK):

  • Brexitcast/Electioncast – more than 14 million for the BBC’s award-winning podcast with Adam Fleming, Laura Kuenssberg, Katya Adler and Chris Mason which gives listeners insights into the world of Brexit and politics
  • That Peter Crouch Podcast – around 12 million, with the most popular episode of the podcast with Peter Crouch, Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark easily being: That Crouchfest Episode
  • Beyond Today – around 8.5 million for the daily podcast that asks one big question about a story in the news. The most popular episode was: Why Is Prince Harry Taking On The Press?
  • 13 Minutes To The Moon – this podcast counts down the final thirteen minutes of Apollo 11 mission and has had nearly 6 million downloads and plays this year
  • Fortunately… With Fi And Jane – nearly 4.5 million downloads or plays this year for the podcast that goes behind the scenes with Jane Garvey and Fi Glover
  • Tunnel 29 – around 3.5 million downloads or plays of the true story of a man who dug a tunnel under the Berlin Wall to help others escape, presented by journalist Helena Merriman
  • The Missing Cryptoqueen – over 3 million downloads or plays of the investigation by Jamie Bartlett and producer Georgia Catt into a complex cryptocurrency scam and its missing founder
  • Tailenders – over 2.5 million for the podcast in which Greg James, Jimmy Anderson and Felix White take an alternative look at cricket
  • Evil Genius – nearly 2.5 million for the podcast in which guests join Russell Kane to assess the heroes and villains from history

The Global News Podcast was downloaded or played more than 145 million times in the UK and around the world this year. The podcast with the latest from the football world, Football Daily, had more than 22.5 million and the most popular episode was: Liverpool And ‘The Greatest European Comeback Of All Time’.

Around half of people in the UK who listen to BBC podcasts each week are under 35. The number of weekly users is across the app, website and voice activated devices; and is above the average iPlayer Radio audiences before we launched BBC Sounds.


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