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Launch posters for the BBC Sounds app, designed by Mother Design

Record 4.53 million people use BBC Sounds during week following the ‘mini-budget’

Press Release · London, UK ·

In the latest three months (July – September) there was an average 4.3 million weekly people using BBC Sounds, with a record weekly 4.53 million coming in the week following the ‘mini-budget’ particularly to Newscast, to help make sense of the economic crisis.

This quarter BBC Sounds launched Local To Me, a new feature that helps listeners find more content relevant to their area, and the power of local radio was also demonstrated when the Liz Truss BBC Local Radio Interviews was the most listened to episode of Newscast since the podcast began.

  • Newscast, Ukrainecast and Boris among the most popular podcasts on BBC Sounds this quarter
  • True crime and investigative podcasts proved popular for listeners of all ages with Bad People and Gangster among the most listened to podcasts for all adults and under 35s
  • Desert Island Discs was the most popular on demand radio programme after The Archers, with episodes featuring Adele and Kate Moss the most listened to across all on demand content this quarter
  • Audio drama strand Limelight proved popular with innovative new series including English Rose and Exemplar
  • Football podcasts continue to drive younger listeners to BBC Sounds with Jill Scott’s Coffee Club, The Footballer’s Football podcast, Moment Of Truth and Match Of The Day Top 10 either among the most listened to podcasts by under 35s or the highest proportion of listeners under 35
  • The Sleeping Forecast long listen from Back to Back Sounds was the most popular on-demand music

The latest data shows there were 392 million plays of all audio on BBC Sounds, with a total of 178 million plays for on-demand radio and podcasts in this quarter.

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54 percent of overall plays on BBC Sounds were for live content and 65 percent of all listening hours on BBC Sounds were live.

Jonathan Wall, Director of BBC Sounds, said: “BBC Sounds has continued to grow this year, with a record number of people coming to us for our high quality and trusted news content during the biggest news events in the UK and to help understand how policies might impact them. Over the summer, high profile castaways on Desert Island Discs and our football podcasts also proved extremely popular with different audiences. We’re always trying to make it easier for more people to find and enjoy brilliant audio from across the BBC, such as our Back to Back Sounds feature.”

On-demand radio programmes

With recent A-list appearances, Desert Island Discs was the most popular on demand radio programme after The Archers this quarter. Episodes featuring Adele and Kate Moss were the most listened to across all on demand radio and podcast content this quarter. It was also among the top ten on demand radio programmes for listeners under 35, after Radio 1 Anthems, The Archers and Radio 1 Dance Anthems.

Radio 1 00s had the highest proportion of listeners under 35, followed by Radio 1 Breakfast with Greg James and Kenny Allstar.

Podcasts on BBC Sounds

As the economic crisis dominated the headlines, Newscast attracted huge numbers of listeners on BBC Sounds. Newscast was the most listened to podcast this quarter, with the Liz Truss BBC Local Radio Interviews episode was the most listened to that week and the most popular Newscast episode of all time.

Hugely popular returning podcasts were a hit with younger audiences this quarter, with You’re Dead To Me the most listened to by under 35 year olds. The comedy podcast that takes history seriously has consistently appeared in the top ten for all listeners and those under 35, for the last ten quarters.

Listeners of all ages continued to devour true crime and investigative podcasts on BBC Sounds, with Bad People – the series that questions the psychology behind some of the most disturbing cases in modern history – and the new series of Gangster: The Story of Curtis Warren, both among the top ten most listened to podcasts for all adults and for listeners under 35.

With the Women’s Euros final drawing huge crowds this summer, football podcasts continued to drive younger listeners to BBC Sounds. Jill Scott’s Coffee Club, The Footballer’s Football podcast and Match of the Day Top 10 had among the highest proportion of listeners under 35, while Moment Of Truth was in the top ten most popular for listeners under 35.

Limelight was also in the top ten most listened to podcasts this quarter, delivering innovative new audio dramas with some of the nation’s best writing and acting talent. The fantasy horror English Rose launched in July proved very popular, along with the North East based thriller Exemplar starring Gina McKee.

Music mixes

Helping listeners drift off with soothing sleepscapes, The Sleeping Forecast long listen on Back To Back Sounds was the most popular music mix this quarter contributing to a total of 2.7 million plays of music between July and September.

The consistently popular Sounds Of The 90s with Fearne Cotton was also among the top ten most listened to music mix this quarter, followed by Radio 1 Happy, Mindful Mix and for those training for the London Marathon, Pace Setter also proved popular.

BBC podcasts and radio programmes on third party platforms

From a total of 256 million global podcast downloads across the world during this quarter, Global News Podcast (BBC World Service), The Documentary (BBC World Service) and Newscast (BBC News) were the most popular.

This is a press release which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.

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