BBC marks 10 years of podcasting with record figures

I am delighted to see that, 10 years after the BBC began offering podcasts, our programmes are being downloaded in record numbers.Helen Boaden, Director, BBC Radio
Date: 15.10.2014     Last updated: 15.10.2014 at 09.22
The BBC today published a chart of its all-time most popular podcasts - alongside latest figures that show the technology is more popular than ever, 10 years after its launch.

The BBC became the first British broadcaster to podcast when it made Radio 4’s In Our Time available to download in November 2004.

Nearly 10 years later, podcasting is being embraced by smartphone users, with record numbers downloading BBC programmes. Latest figures show 24 million UK downloads of BBC programmes in August alone – an increase of 36% on the same time last year.

To mark the occasion, the BBC has released a list of the 30 most downloaded programmes over the period.

Some of the best-known BBC Radio programmes rub shoulders with modern favourites and shows no longer broadcast, in a portfolio that is predominantly speech-based and dominated by Radio 4 content.

The latest monthly podcast figures (August 2014) also show The Archers was downloaded more than 2.2 million times (combined daily and Omnibus editions) and that many programmes are attracting record monthly audiences, with Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review (1.6m) Scott Mills (940k) and Woman’s Hour (783k) all drawing more downloads than ever.

In total, there have been more than 1.1 billion UK downloads of BBC podcasts since 2004.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, said: “I am delighted to see that, 10 years after the BBC began offering podcasts, our programmes are being downloaded in record numbers. These figures show audiences' enduring appetite for a wide range of distinctive content and how digital media can bring brilliant programmes to an even wider audience. I hope podcast technologies continue to provide a boost to the whole radio industry.”

Mark Friend, Controller of Radio & Music Multiplatform, said: “These figures suggest that podcasting has been embraced by the smartphone generation and, 10 years on, is in rude health. The range of programmes in the top 30 shows the breadth of podcasting’s appeal and the popularity of a technology some thought would be losing relevance.”

In Our Time was made available in November 2004, before a series of podcasting trials and the launch of a full service in 2007.

See tables below.

JA

Cumulative totals since launch

 

Podcast Series (Station)

Frequency

Launch Date

Total UK Downloads

1

Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 (Radio 4)

 Weekly

Sep-07

70,392,318

2

The Archers (Radio 4)

 Daily

Oct-07

63,398,512

3

Scott Mills Daily (Radio 1)

 Daily

Oct-07

53,362,748

4

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Reviews (5 live)

 Weekly

May-05

50,635,185

5

Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young (Radio 4)

 Weekly

Nov-09

35,382,402

6

Best of Today (Radio 4)

 Daily

May-05

32,351,772

7

Best of Chris Moyles (Radio 1)

 n/a

Jul-05

30,369,232

8

Best of Chris Moyles Enhanced (Radio 1)

 n/a

Jul-07

28,441,461

9

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (Radio 4)

 Weekly

Nov-04

27,017,020

10

Documentaries (World Service)

 Daily

May-05

25,894,612

11

From Our Own Correspondent (Radio 4)

 Weekly

May-05

20,530,242

12

The Infinite Monkey Cage (Radio 4)

 Weekly

Nov-09

20,473,590

13

Woman's Hour Daily Podcast (Radio 4)

 Daily

Mar-06

18,142,755

14

Chris Evans - The Best Bits (Radio 2)

 Daily

Sep-05

17,755,636

15

5 live Football Daily (5 live)

 Daily

Aug-07

16,928,069

16

A History of the World in 100 Objects (Radio 4)

 -

Jan-10

16,915,005

17

Comedy of the Week (Radio 4)

 Weekly

Aug-07

15,628,710

18

Fighting Talk (5 live)

 Weekly

Oct-04

15,470,256

19

Peter Day's World of Business (BBC Radio)

 Weekly

May-05

15,162,461

20

Money Box (Radio 4)

 Weekly

Aug-07

13,456,996

21

Daily Bacon (5 live)

 Daily

Jan-10

13,330,943

22

More or Less: behind the stats (Radio 4)

 Weekly

Oct-07

12,977,595

23

606 Football Phone-In (5 live)

 Daily

Mar-06

12,823,322

24

Test Match Special (5 live Sports Extra)

 Daily

Nov-06

12,435,251

25

Annie Mac's minimix (Radio 1)

 Weekly

Nov-07

12,227,108

26

Wake Up To Money (5 live)

 Daily

Mar-06

12,091,776

27

Adam and Joe (6 Music)

 Weekly

Jul-07

11,372,373

28

Global News (World Service)

 Daily

Mar-06

11,300,817

29

The Archers Omnibus (Radio 4)

 Weekly

Oct-09

10,411,796

30

Rhod Gilbert's Best Bits (Radio Wales)

 Weekly

Aug-07

10,365,040

L

Latest monthly totals – August 2014

 

Podcast Series (Station)

Frequency

Monthly UK Downloads

1

The Archers (Radio 4)

 Daily

1,873,191

2

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Reviews (5 live)

 Weekly

1,608,302

3

Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young (Radio 4)

 Weekly

1,296,875

4

The Infinite Monkey Cage (Radio 4)

 Weekly

1,117,495

5

Scott Mills Daily (Radio 1)

 Daily

940,552

6

Woman's Hour Daily Podcast (Radio 4)

 Daily

783,298

7

Test Match Special (5 live Sports Extra)

 Daily

672,820

8

Comedy of the Week (Radio 4)

 Weekly

630,662

9

5 live Football Daily (5 live)

 Daily

548,222

10

More or Less: behind the stats (Radio 4)

 Weekly

490,224