New figures from the BBC Global Audience Measure show that the BBC’s international output reaches 133 million people every week in 29 different languages.
Radio falls behind television (148m) for the first time and 55 million are consuming BBC online content. The BBC’s weekly global audience to both news and entertainment for the 2014-15 year was 308 million people, according to the data. It also show the number of people consuming the corporation’s news content to be 283m, up 18m compared with the previous year.
The target for 2022, set by BBC Director General Tony Hall in 2013, is a global reach of 500 million.
The BBC World Service’s audience has increased by 10% in its first year of licence fee funding and now stands at 210m, with the biggest boost coming from new World Service TV news bulletins in languages other than English. The biggest growth for a single service comes for BBC World Service English, which has its highest ever weekly reach ever with an audience of 52m, an increase of more than 25%. The countries where the audience increases for World Service English have been highest are Nigeria, USA, Pakistan and Tanzania.
BBC Global News Ltd’s audience has grown to 105million with World News TV’s up by 12%, and bbc.com/news growing by 16%.
Fran Unsworth, Director of the BBC World Service Group, said: “These amazing figures demonstrate the importance and impact of the BBC around the world. In times of crisis and in countries lacking media freedom, people around the world turn to the BBC for trusted and accurate information. Thanks to our digital innovation we now have more ways than ever before of reaching our audience – from the Whatsapp Service we set up during the West Africa Ebola outbreak to our pop-up Thai news stream on Facebook following the military coup.”
Former UK BBC Audio & Music Director Tim Davie is now BBC Worldwide’s CEO and Director of Global. He said: “Today’s audience numbers show the global reach of the BBC to be strong and growing. The consumption of branded BBC services across TV, radio and digital platforms speaks to the international appetite for premium content across all the genres for which we are best known – primarily news, but increasingly for drama, factual and entertainment. Having a robust but prudent measurement system in place also helps increase our understanding of our audiences, enabling us to serve them to the very best of our ability in the future.”
The Global Audience Measure (GAM) measures the combined reach of the BBC’s international news services – BBC World Service, BBC World News, bbc.com/news and BBC Media Action. It also includes the majority of BBC Worldwide’s BBC-branded direct to consumer services, where measurable and obtainable. It excludes audience for BBC programmes made or sold by BBC Worldwide to third party broadcasters and other platforms.