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Record numbers using BBC Sounds

May 18, 2022

Data from the BBC shows there were a record 405 million plays of all audio on BBC Sounds, and a record total of 179 million plays for on-demand radio and podcasts in the first quarter of 2022.

The average weekly BBC Sounds audience was also a record with 4.06 million across the app, website and voice activated devices, with a record peak of 4.13 million.

In the quarter, 55 per cent of overall plays on BBC Sounds were for live content and 66 per cent of all listening hours on BBC Sounds were live.

Jonathan Wall, Director of BBC Sounds, says: “We’ve seen continued growth at the outset of this year. Record numbers of people are using BBC Sounds each week for brilliant live and on-demand radio, music and podcasts, and BBC titles that shine a light on the biggest news stories and events in the UK and around the world have been particularly popular this quarter.”

The Archers continues to top the charts for on-demand radio programmes for all adults on BBC Sounds followed by Desert Island Discs and The News Quiz. Radio 1 Anthems is the most popular for under 35 listeners and has the highest proportion of under 35 listeners.

This quarter saw 4.1 million plays for music on BBC Sounds. The Mindful Mix continues to be popular, giving people stress-busting classical music, and appears at the top of the list.

My Sounds music mixes, launched in January to mark the BBC’s Centenary with some of the BBC’s most celebrated names including Louis Theroux, Stacey Dooley, Ade Adepitan and Ruth Madeley sharing their top tunes, appear second in the top on-demand music this quarter.

Several podcasts that launched this quarter appear amongst the most listened to on BBC Sounds. The Coming Storm, in which Gabriel Gatehouse takes a journey into QAnon and the dark undergrowth of modern America, was the most popular on BBC Sounds.

In another busy news period Newscast was the second most listened to podcast, and Ukrainecast, which launched with Victoria Derbyshire and Gabriel Gatehouse when Russia invaded Ukraine, was the third most listened to podcast on BBC Sounds this quarter.

A total of 288 million global podcast downloads across the world during this quarter, Global News Podcast (BBC World Service), The Documentary (BBC World Service) and Woman’s Hour (Radio 4) were the most popular.

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