Monday, May 21, 2007

BBC's global audiences reach record 33 million

The BBC’s combined international news services attracted a record global weekly audience of more than 233 million during 2006/7, according to independent surveys, says the BBC World Service. The global audience figure for the combined services of BBC World Service radio, BBC World television and the BBC’s international online news service is up 23 million from 210 million last year. Many people used more than one service.

BBC World Service’s weekly radio audience estimate is a record 183 million, up 20 million on last year. BBC World – the commercially-funded international English language news and information television channel – now has estimated record audiences of 76 million viewers a week, up from 65 million in 2005/6.

The BBC’s international-facing online news sites attracted a record 763 million page impressions in March 2007, up from 546 million in March 2006. There were a record 38.5 million unique online users across the globe during March 2007, up from 32.8 million a year ago.

BBC Global News Director Richard Sambrook said: “This is a strong and welcome indication that the BBC’s news services are strengthening their impact with audiences around the globe in the highly competitive multimedia age. People around the world are increasingly turning to the BBC when they need quality news and information that is independent and trusted.”

There were large BBC radio audience increases in Bangladesh – up 8.3 million. Increased survey coverage added 7.5 million to the estimate in Democratic Republic of Congo and 7.0 million in Afghanistan. Weekly audiences in radio markets in India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Rwanda all grew by a million or more during the year.

BBC World saw substantial growth in audiences in Africa, Canada, Egypt, India, Pakistan and the USA.

The new World Service global audience estimate is derived from a comprehensive programme of independent audience research over a four year cycle. This year’s figure incorporates new data from 24 countries – some 69 per cent of this year’s audience (some 65 per cent of last year’s audience).

The BBC World audience figure is compiled from multiple surveys (syndicated, omnibus and specifically commissioned) across 100 countries.

The surveys are carried out by independent market research groups and comply with international standards of audience research.

(Source: BBC World Service/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)