Entertainment & Arts

BBC radio programmes pass one billion downloads

Cast of The Archers
Image caption The Archers is the UK's longest-running soap opera

More than one billion BBC radio programmes have been downloaded since the launch of the corporation's podcast service in 2007, it has been announced.

News leads the way for daily podcasts with Global News notching up 89 million downloads since 2007.

The top daily programme is The Archers, with 35 million total downloads. Scott Mills' Radio 1 show has 31 million.

BBC presenters have chosen their favourite podcast moments for a special download to mark the milestone.

Contributors include 6 Music's Lauren Laverne and Stuart Maconie, Radio 1's Matt Edmondson and 5 live's Richard Bacon.

The 1bn total is made up of monthly, daily and weekly downloads from the BBC's library of more than 300 titles.

World service news programming features heavily in the list. Radio 4's A History Of The World In 100 Objects has also been downloaded 25 million times since it was first broadcast in 2010.

The weekly top 10 is dominated by Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 on 47 million with Radio 1's Best Of Chris Moyles on 29 million.

Radio 2 breakfast host Chris Evans is also included on 16 million.

BBC Audio & Music spokesman Mark Friend said: "BBC Radio's one billionth download shows how audiences value being able to listen to audio when and where they want.

"Downloadable content draws in new listeners to a wide range of content with nearly a third of people who download podcasts listening to radio programmes they hadn't previously listened to."

Figures from RAJAR, which provides the official breakdown of the the listening habits, show that 8.5 million adults in the UK have downloaded a podcast this year.