BBC News in Africa increases reach to 132 million people a week

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 July 2020:

The BBC’s global reach increased by 11% year on year in 2020 to 468.2m people a week – the highest number ever. BBC News in Africa has had an impressive year and now reaches 132 million people a week across 12 language services and 30 TV programmes (This figure also includes all WS Languages as well as Global News as well as WS English).

Investment from the UK government’s ‘World 2020’ initiative attracted new audiences for Sport Africa – with extensive international football leagues coverage, Africa Eye with ground-breaking investigative journalism, What’s New for young African audiences,  Smart Money and Money Daily with innovative business journalism and Life Clinic exploring health and well-being for an African audience.

One of the key successes from the Africa TV portfolio has been the award winning Africa Eye investigations. Its investigations have delivered serious impact as well as reach. BBC Yoruba (+166%) Afaan Oromoo (+143%), Igbo (+70%), Amharic (+67%) and Tigrinya (+64%) have seen substantial increases year on year since they launched two years ago.

BBC Afrique, Pidgin and Gahuza have seen the biggest digital growth of our services year on year.

Established BBC services including Afrique, Hausa & Swahili are in the top ten services for World Service reaching over 10m people across all platforms. In addition English for Africa now reaches 34 million people across the region.

The top 10 markets across all markets for sub Saharan Africa are: Nigeria; Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda; Ghana; Somalia; Congo, Dem. Rep.; Niger; Ethiopia; and Sierra Leone.

Jamie Angus, Director of World Service Group says: “Access to the trusted news can literally be a matter of life and death in these extraordinary times. At the BBC we’re proud of the trust we have built with African Audiences and I’m delighted that this year’s figures reflect sustained and significant growth in this vital global market.”

Solomon Mugera, Head of  Africa Journalism says: “This is a clear message from our audience in Africa that the BBC truly is their home for trusted and reliable news. These figures also show that the BBC’s investment in six new language services, digital expansion and TV programmes is a success story. We serve a dynamic and mobile audience with an insatiable appetite for distinctive journalism.”

BBC News accounts for 438.4m of the total global audience figure, with an annual increase of 13%.  Digital platforms are key to the success, with an increase of 53% in BBC News users.  A total of 151m users now access BBC News digitally according the annual Global Audience Measure (GAM) which measures audiences in key markets.

In late March 2020, as the Covid-19 virus spread and trusted sources of information were in demand, BBC News recorded the highest reach of any international media organisation in the world with 310m people accessing coverage across 42 languages.

BBC global content is increasingly popular on global platforms like YouTube with a 129% increase in audiences to 47m a week – overtaking Facebook with a 31% increase to 43m.
Twitter reach has doubled to 6m and Instagram also reaches 6m weekly.

Other highlights of the 2020 Global Audience Measure:

  • BBC World News channel made significant gains to reach 112m – with growth in the Americas at 50%.
  • BBC World Service Languages up 13% to 292.1m with a big uptick in digital engagement among audiences aged 15-24 who now make up a third of the total.  BBC News Hindi is now the second most popular service with 25m – behind Arabic with 42m (+67%) .  BBC Chinese saw an increase of 141% , Russian is up 32% and BBC Mundo 40% . Other big percentage increases include Serbian (+327%).
  • BBC World Service English audiences up by 8% to 97m.  The Global News Podcast remains the BBC’s most popular with audiences approaching 1m a week.  Italy contributed 1.4m new listeners on DAB radio.
  • BBC Studios increased reach by 5.8m to 49.1m  up 13%.
  • BBC Media Action – the BBC’s international charity that helps to strengthen governance, improve people’s health and humanitarian response – saw an increase in audience of 3.5m to 18m.

The top 10 countries by BBC News audience are: India  60.4 million; USA  49.5 million; Nigeria  37.2 million; Kenya  14.6 million; Tanzania  14 million; Bangladesh  11.9 million; Afghanistan  11.4 million; Iran 11.3 million; Canada  9.7 million; Pakistan  9.7 million.

Please find a link to the video here

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.

1 Comment

  1. I think one of the greatest exports the United Kingdom gave to the world, is this great institution we call the BBC. The Focus on Africa, once hosted by our own very son of the soil Hilton Fyle, was a most listened program. The BBC African news content, was able to penetrate African countries, where dictatorship, like in present day Sierra Leone, had a stranglehold over its cowed population. Even rebel leaders were given air time, to air their views. Many would have been critical of the BBC given air time to this deranged monsters like Sam Bokari, Charles Taylor, and Foday Sankoh. But because of the BBC upholding the freedom of speech, the general population was able to listen to this monster and realise they have no aims and objectives for waging wars in their countries.They were exposed for their lies.

    Here is a suggestion for the BBC African programme makers. Housa is a different language to Fulani. Since Fulanis are the largest ethnic group in the African continent, found as far away as Egypt, South Sudan and scattered around fifteen west and central African countries. I will suggest you make a special programm for fulani herdsmen. Right now all the wars going on from, Northen Nigeria, Mali, Bokina Fasso, Cameroon, South Sudan in some way involves Fulani herdsmen. Maybe preaching of peace, will hlep bring peace in this troubled region. As a country we should not ignore what is going on in the west African sub-region. It is vital we try and maintain peace at all times. Without peace, there will be no development. May God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.

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