The BBC has released its yearly Global Audience Measure (GAM) which records the total weekly number of adults accessing the BBC around the world.
India continues to be the biggest market among the BBC’s international audiences, with a weekly audience of 72 million adults. This includes BBC News’ Indian languages, BBC.com and BBC Studios’ international channels, and is an increase of 9 million from last year (63m in 2020).
For 2020/21, the BBC achieved record figures globally with an average audience of 489 million* adults every week, an increase of over 20 million from the previous year. This brings the BBC’s global audience close to the 500 million people target for 2022, which the BBC is on track to exceed in its 100th anniversary year.
BBC’s international news services also reached record levels with 456 million adults using them each week (an increase of 18m). This includes audiences for World Service languages, World Service English, World News TV, BBC.com and BBC Media Action.
BBC News Hindi consolidated its place as the leading World Service digital language service this year, attracting an additional 4 million people. Both BBC News Gujarati and BBC News Punjabi service performed impressively with a growth of more than 75%.
Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, says: “I am delighted that the BBC now informs, educates and entertains more people around the world than ever before. Our global reach continues to grow and we are well on target to hit half a billion people by our centenary next year. The fact that our audience has more than doubled in the last decade shows how trusted and increasingly valued BBC services are right around the world. It also highlights the important role we play for Britain on the global stage in carrying the UK’s voice, democratic values and influence.”
Rupa Jha, Head of BBC Indian Languages, says: “These figures speak for themselves. BBC has continued to reach the wider audience in India. This growth comes from the impartial, accurate and courageous journalism that is helping audiences better analyse and understand current events in a growing era of polarisation and global disinformation.”
Liliane Landor, Senior Controller of BBC News International Services and Director of BBC World Service, says: “Global audiences for BBC News have reached record levels and our reputation for providing trusted, impartial news and information is world class. We have seen how vital our output has been to audiences in moments of jeopardy, from the Covid-19 pandemic to elections and conflicts. We will continue to provide strong first-class journalism across our platforms.”
This year’s global performance was driven by the following factors:
World Service languages growth: this year, the languages division drove the largest share of total BBC growth, up 20m (+7%). The language services now reach 313 million adults weekly.
Continued rise of digital: digital growth continues apace for BBC News outside the UK. Reach on all digital platforms is up by 23% to 186 million adults reached in the average week.
Impressive performance of newer language services: these have seen rapid digital growth. As a result, 39% of World Service weekly reach now comes from digital platforms (41% for all BBC News).
BBC.com saw a rise of 8 million since 2020 and now has a reach of 40 million adults. Coverage of the US elections and the aftermath contributed faster growth for BBC.com than in previous years
BBC Studios’ international channels reached 65 million adults, an increase of 16 million.
BBC Media Action, the BBC's international charity that works with media and communication for democracy and development – saw an increase in their contribution to GAM of 5 million, to 23 million.