Tag Archives: BBC Media Centre

BBC World Service: Global audience up, shortwave listeners in “steep decline”

(Source: The BBC Media Centre)

BBC’S Global audience rises to 376m

The BBC is reaching a record weekly audience of 376m people, new figures published today reveal.

The figures – the Global Audience Measure (GAM) – show how many adults the BBC reached weekly with its news and entertainment content in the year 2017/18.

The BBC World Service, which has just undertaken its biggest expansion since the 1940s, has seen its audience increase by 10m, to 279m.
The total global news audience has risen by a million, to 347m.

The GAM shows the way people access their news is continuing to change around the world. With the increased availability of cheap smartphones around the world, audiences are continuing to switch to digital platforms for news. Overall, online news website audiences have grown by four million, with social media audiences up by nine million.

The English language international website, BBC.com, continues to perform well even in competitive markets like the USA, adding two million weekly users this year.

More people listen directly to World Service English via the internet than by any other method – a total of 27m. And World Service English podcasts now reach one million people every week.

However, shortwave radio listening continues its steep decline, with shortwave audiences virtually disappearing in Pakistan, and down substantially in Nigeria.

Jamie Angus, Director of the BBC World Service Group, says: “This has been an exciting year for the BBC World Service, with the launch of 12 new services, new programming, and the opening of new and expanded bureaux across the world, so it is great to see international audiences continuing to turn to the BBC for independent and impartial news.

The figures highlight not only the successes of our global news operation, but the challenges that lie ahead for us. We still need to grow the share of women engaging with our news services globally, and we need to ensure we have the right services to continue to attract young audiences.

At a time when Britain is forging a new relationship with nations around the world, the BBC’s global news services are more important than ever.”

The figures also show:

  • More than a quarter of the BBC World Service’s audience is aged between 15-24 years old.
  • In Afghanistan, more than 60% of the adult population consumes BBC News; in Nigeria the figure is just under 40%
  • The top ten markets for the BBC’s international news services are Nigeria (41m), USA (33m), India (30m), Bangladesh (16m), Egypt (16m), Iran (13m), Afghanistan (12m), Tanzania (10m), Pakistan (9m) and Indonesia (8m).
  • More people are consuming more than one BBC service, or using more than one platform to access BBC News; 24m people consume the World Service in English as well as other languages.

Notes to Editors
The Global Audience Measure is an annual update of how many people are consuming the BBC weekly for all services in all countries across all platforms (television, radio, website and social media). Key to this is de-duplication i.e. ensuring that a person who consumes multiple BBC services or platforms or on multiple devices is not counted many times in the top level totals.

The total figure includes audiences for all BBC News services outside the UK and branded entertainment content on TV, BBC websites and social media pages for BBC Studios.

PR

BBC World Service: new shortwave services to Ethiopia and Eritrea

Note that, in terms of press freedoms, Reporters Without Borders ranks Eritrea the second most repressive country in the world, next to North Korea.

(Source: BBC Media Centre)

BBC World Service continues expansion with new services for Ethiopia and Eritrea

Three new language services for Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the diaspora are being launched today by the BBC World Service as part of its biggest expansion since the 1940s.
BBC News in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya will be available online and on Facebook. This will be followed later in the year with shortwave radio services in each language consisting of a 15-minute news and current affairs programme, followed by a 5-minute Learning English programme, from Monday to Friday.

The new BBC services will provide impartial news, current affairs and analysis of Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as regional and international news. Boosting the BBC’s operation in the Horn of Africa will also provide the rest of the BBC’s global audience with a better understanding of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Programmes will target a younger audience with social media playing a key role. In addition to news and current affairs, there will be extensive coverage of culture, entertainment, entrepreneurship, science & technology, health and sport – including the English Premier League.

These services will benefit from a growing network of journalists across the region and around the world.

Francesca Unsworth, BBC World Service Director, says: “The BBC World Service brings independent, impartial news to audiences around the world, especially in places where media freedom is limited. I’m delighted we’re extending our service to millions of people in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the diaspora worldwide.”

Will Ross, Editorial Lead for Africa, says: “We know that there is a great deal of hunger for audiences in Ethiopia and Eritrea to access a broad range of high quality content in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya. It has been a privilege to work with Ethiopian and Eritrean journalists who are so keen to learn new skills and to ensure the new language services are a success.”

1920s Radio Times magazines now available to public

(Source: BBC Media Centre)

BBC makes 1920s Radio Times magazines available to public

The BBC is making the earliest issues of the complete Radio Times magazines publicly available online for the first time. This release is part of the BBC Genome Project – a digitised searchable database of programme listings – from 1923 to the end of 2009.

BBC programme records have been available to the public via the BBC Genome Project since October 2014. Now, users can access digitised editions of the magazines from 1923-1929. Opening up this archive means researchers will be able to make direct links between the listings in the database and the original published listings.

Early colour front covers, specially commissioned illustrations and letters from the BBC’s first radio audience form part of the content in this fascinating record of early broadcasting.

Radio Times began in 1923, a year after the British Broadcasting Company started regular broadcasts, and thus provides a valuable record of the programmes that have been broadcast over nine decades.

More than five million programme records, scanned from Radio Times magazines, form the backbone of the BBC Genome website. Now, members of the public will be able to view the 1920s listings in facsimile, as well as all the extra material contained in articles and features in the magazine that have previously been unavailable on the site.

Hilary Bishop, Archive Development Editor, says: “We are particularly pleased that it is easy for our users to flick between the listings in the database and the related text in the magazine, as well as to scroll through articles not seen previously on BBC Genome. It is part of our commitment to continually improving BBC Genome and helping to open up the BBC’s archives as much as possible.”

Radio Times in the 1920s featured regular articles by the first Director General of the BBC, Lord Reith, and the BBC’s chief engineer, Peter Eckersley, addressing topics that concerned the BBC audience of the time, such as how to choose the best ‘receiving set’ and how to prevent ‘oscillations’ over the airwaves.

Articles, cartoons and programme listings all provide an insight into the history of broadcasting and the BBC’s first listeners, while adding some context, for a modern audience, to the earliest BBC programme records. The first editions of Radio Times show a nation still enthralled by the technological wonder of the new ‘wireless’ sets.

In each edition for the first few years of publication, cartoons explored the comic possibilities of a public who still didn’t quite understand how radio worked. “Would you kindly remove your hat madam?” asks a man at a ‘wireless village concert’. Yet the performer on stage is a radio set.

As the public wrestled with their new radio antennae, legendary cartoonist W. Heath Robinson illustrated two editions with eccentric designs of aerials.

Other historical snippets include a ‘new experiment’, in 1924, to broadcast a programme from California, to London. The exercise was to be repeated in the opposite direction. “If suitable conditions exist in the atmosphere”, concludes the article, “there is no reason why the experiment should not be successful”.

You can access the digitised 1920s magazines at: http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk

Click here to read this article at the BBC Media Centre.

Click here to browse the Radio Times archive.