BBC World Service boosts global audience by 10m after biggest expansion since the 1940s, new figures show

The BBC World Service has increased its audience by 10m to 279m, according to new figures.

The service underwent its biggest expansion since the 1940s last year, adding 12 new languages to its news service, from Korean to Pidgin, backed by a £289m funding boost from the Government.

Today’s Global Audience Measure figures show that more people listen directly to World Service English online than by TV or radio, at a total of 27m. Its podcasts also reach 1m people each week.

But shortwave radio audiences have continued to decline, “virtually disappearing” in Pakistan and “down substantially” in Nigeria, where the service is also provided in local languages, said the BBC.

The Global Audience Measure is a yearly update on how many people are consuming the BBC weekly for all services in all countries across all platforms (TV, radio, online and social media).

The figures show overall, online news website audiences have grown by 4m, with social media audiences up by 9m.

The BBC is reaching a record weekly audience of 376m people. The English-language news website added two million weekly users this year.

The BBC’s total global news audience has risen by one million to 347m.

Jamie Angus, director of the BBC World Service Group, said: “…It is great to see international audiences continuing to turn to the BBC for independent and impartial news.

“The figures highlight not only the successes of our global news operation, but the challenges that lie ahead for us. We still need to grow the share of women engaging with our news services globally, and we need to ensure we have the right services to continue to attract young audiences.

“At a time when Britain is forging a new relationship with nations around the world, the BBC’s global news services are more important than ever.”

More than a quarter of the BBC World Service audience is aged between 15 and 24-years-old.

The top ten markets for the BBC’s international news services are Nigeria (41m), USA (33m), India (30m), Bangladesh (16m), Egypt (16m), Iran (13m), Afghanistan (12m), Tanzania (10m), Pakistan (9m) and Indonesia (8m).

Picture: Reuters/Neil Hall



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2 thoughts on “BBC World Service boosts global audience by 10m after biggest expansion since the 1940s, new figures show”

  1. “…turn to the BBC for independent and impartial news.”
    “…backed by a £289m funding boost from the Government…”
    Which is seen as perfectly acceptable, yet if press outlets of non western aligned nations receive funding from their governments they are instantly labeled as state propaganda outlets. It seems the only difference lies in what you choose to believe.

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