The figures, researched by BBC Global Audience Measure (GAM), are for the year 2014/15. It’s the first time that both news and entertainment has been measured, but the news output has seen an increase of 18 million or 7% on last year. This means that one in every 16 adults around the world uses BBC News.
In 2013 Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC, set a target of 500m for the BBC’s global reach for 2022.
For the first time, television (148m) overtook radio (133m) as the most popular platform for BBC international news, and it is also the first time since we tracked audiences for all three platforms – radio, TV and online (55m) – in English and 28 other languages – that they’ve all grown in the same year.
“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,” said Tim Davie, Director, Global and CEO, BBC Worldwide. “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 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.