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18.06.2014 Europe

BBC's Global News Audiences Increase To Record 265 Million

By BBC World Service International
BBC's Global News Audiences Increase To Record 265 Million
LISTEN JUN 18, 2014

New figures released today show the BBC's global audience has increased to a record-breaking 265m people a week.

The figures, for 2013/14, represent an increase of 9 million people on the previous year.

The Global Audience Estimate (GAE) measures the combined reach of the BBC's international services - BBC World Service, BBC World News, and BBC Media Action - across the world.

Russia has shown the biggest growth for a single market, with the audience more than doubling to 6.9m weekly as people turn to the BBC for trustworthy and impartial news. The BBC's Ukrainian Service also reflects this trend with its audience more than trebling to more than 600,000 over the last year.

BBC World News TV shows an increase of 5m viewers, taking its weekly audience to 76m.

The Indian audience has grown, and shows signs of recovering from the last few years of decline. This comes thanks to investments in digital and TV for the Hindi Service; including the launch of the Global India programme on TV, which pulls in 6m weekly viewers; and an increase in World News viewers. These increases more than offset the loss of shortwave listeners to the Hindi Service.

BBC digital news services have continued to grow, with an 8m, or 21%, year on year increase bringing the digital audience to 46m.

Peter Horrocks, Director of the BBC World Service Group, said:

'Today's figures show the most successful year ever for the BBC's global news services.

'The BBC plays a vital role in troubled times. We know that people around the world turn to the BBC when other impartial information is in short supply, and this is borne out by the sharp increase in audiences in Russia and Ukraine.

'Investment in TV bulletins and responsive mobile services for the World Service is bearing fruit. Radio will be a World Service mainstay for years to come, but as these figures testify, the way people access news is changing and we must continue to innovate if we are to flourish in the years ahead.'

Other findings of the Global Audience Estimate include:

· The weekly audience for GN Ltd - which comprises BBC World News and, has increased to 95.5m from 88m last year - a rise of 8%

· The audience for the BBC World Service has remained broadly stable at 191.4 million (slightly down from 192.2m last year), with the introduction of new TV language bulletins boosting the World Service's television audience.

· Increases in television and digital audiences are offsetting the decline (mainly on shortwave and medium wave) in radio listening. Radio audiences have dropped by 17m since last year, although radio still remains the biggest platform overall at 128m listeners, with TV viewers at 126m.

· The launch of responsive design (now available for all World Service languages) and the move to 'mobile-first' has contributed to mobile growth. A third of all weekly visitors to World Service websites come via mobile.

· For the first time a nationally representative media survey was conducted in Yemen, showing an audience of 3.8m weekly viewers for BBC Arabic TV in that country

· The average age of the audience for the BBC's global news services is 32.

Independent research from Newswhip has shown that the BBC is by far the world's most retweeted news brand.

The BBC is currently exploring innovative new ways of measuring its audience impact around the world to reflect changing audience behaviours around the world.

About BBC World Service

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster, delivering a wide range of language and regional services on radio, TV, online and via wireless handheld devices. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 191 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. BBC World Service offers its multilingual radio content to partner FM stations around the world and has numerous partnerships supplying content to news websites, mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices as well as TV channels. For more information, visit

BBC World News and, the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour English news platforms, are owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd. BBC World News television is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 380 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. The channel's content is also available on 178 cruise ships, 53 airlines and 23 mobile phone networks. offers up-to-the minute international news and in-depth analysis for PCs, tablets and mobile devices to more than 76 million unique browsers each month.

BBC Media Action is the BBC's international development charity. It uses media and communication to inform, connect and empower people around the world. It trains journalists and supports media development where infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. For more information visit

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