Record listening figures for BBC Sounds

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Grounded with Louis Theroux was the most popular podcast for BBC Sounds during a record period between April-June 2020, which saw 313 million plays of all content across radio, podcasts and music mixes.
  • Other top podcasts include That Peter Crouch Podcast, The Coronavirus Newscast, Match of the Day: Top 10 and Fortunately with… Fi and Jane
  • Podcasts which attract a higher proportion of under 35 listeners include Mandemic, The Gemma Collins Podcast, James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds and Scarlett Moffatt Wants to Believe with 6 Degrees from Jamie and Spencer topping the list
  • The huge popularity of Normal People was reflected in audio too – it was the Normal People series which put our TV companion podcast Obsessed With… into the top ten and Normal People The Soundtrack was one of our most listened to music mixes too
  • BBC Sounds saw a huge 1.4 million increase – double previous quarter – in music mix plays with Radio 1’s Big Weekend UK 2020 and Glastonbury keeping listeners entertained at home during what should have been festival season


Data for Q2 2020 shows an average audience of 3.4 million weekly users across the app, website and voice activated devices. There was a record 136 million plays of on-demand radio programmes and podcasts in this quarter, up 13 million on last quarter, and 2.7 million plays of music mixes, a 1.4 million increase and over double the previous quarter.

Many listen to radio stations on BBC Sounds with 55 per cent of overall plays and 65 per cent of all listening hours being for live content on BBC Sounds.

Jonathan Wall, Controller of BBC Sounds, says: “The extraordinary circumstances of these months during lockdown and the disruption to people’s lives is reflected in these latest figures and the most popular content. I’m really glad we’ve been able to give listeners some real treats to enjoy such as Louis Theroux’s brilliant first podcast, hours and hours of Glastonbury and Big Weekend sets and more ways for fans to indulge in drama hits such as Normal People.”

In total there were over 240 million global podcast downloads across the world during this quarter, an increase in 10 million from last quarter.

The Global News Podcast (BBC World Service), The Documentary Podcast (BBC World Service) and In Our Time (Radio 4) continue to be the most popular three titles.


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