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BBC news grows global reach

BBCBBC content now reaches a weekly global audience of 372 million, according to the UK public broadcaster, representing a 7% increase year-on-year.

The Global Audience Measurement statistic, which shows how many individuals the BBC reached weekly with its news and entertainment content in the year 2016/17, indicated that the BBC’s weekly global news audience has grown by 8% to 346 million, with TV, audio and social media driving the increase.

The BBC World Service has seen an increase of 9% since last year, taking its total audience to 269 million.

Global News Ltd, which comprises BBC World News television and BBC.com, now has an audience of 121 million, an increase of 12%, with weekly BBC World News TV viewers rising to 99 million.

World Service English has also seen a rise, with an audience of 75 million around the world, a 14% increase. This has been driven both by syndication and by the growth of digital audio, including internet audio and podcasts, according to the BBC.

The number of listeners accessing World Service English through internet audio has increased by 147% to 21 million.

According to the BBC, the figures show it is on track to achieve a global weekly audience of 500 million by its centenary year of 2022.

Nigeria leads the top 10 markets for the BBC’s international news services, followed by the US, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Tanzania, Indonesia and Canada.

In Iran, BBC content reaches a large number of users through social media, with 1.4 million viewing content through encrypted messaging app Telegram from a total BBC audience of 12.6 million. Elsewhere, Facebook is the main source of BBC social media reach.

“In a turbulent year for international news, with mounting concern about fake news and social media ‘filter bubbles’, more people than ever before are turning to the BBC for reliable, impartial information they can trust,” said Francesca Unsworth, director of the BBC World Service Group.

“We will shortly launch the first new language services in the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s. Today’s audience figures show the need for the BBC is greater than ever.”

Tim Davie, director of global and CEO of BBC Worldwide, said: “It is encouraging to see that BBC branded services continue to be the trusted go-to platforms for audiences across the globe.”