New figures show BBC News Arabic is BBC’s most popular global language news service
Posted on 2020 Jul,23

A big increase in audiences on BBC News Arabic’s digital platforms has seen the BBC’s oldest language service become its most popular.

New figures show the service’s digital platforms saw a 131% increase in reach compared to last year, rising to a digital audience of 12.7 million people per week.
The figures also reveal that the BBC’s overall global reach increased to 468.2 million a week – the highest number ever – and is an 11% increase from last year.

BBC News Arabic’s biggest digital audiences in the Arab world are in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The last year also saw big jumps in BBC News Arabic’s digital audiences in Algeria and Morocco – audiences in both countries rose by more than 200% compared to last year.

The total reach for the service including digital, BBC News Arabic TV and radio is 42.2 million.
Sam Farah, Head of BBC News Arabic, said: “It’s never been more important for people to be able to access the kind of trusted and independent journalism that BBC News Arabic offers, and these figures prove it. The Arabic service brings challenging, impartial reports and award-winning documentaries to the Arabic speaking world, and will continue to do so into the future. As we see record-breaking numbers coming to our online sites I look forward to what the next year will bring”.

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.

Digital platforms are key to the BBC’s global 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. 
The top 10 countries by BBC News audience are:
India: 60,400,000
United States: 49,500,000
Nigeria: 37,200,000
Kenya: 14,600,000
Tanzania: 14,000,000
Bangladesh: 11,900,000
Afghanistan: 11,400,000
Iran: 11,300,000
Canada: 9,700,000
Pakistan: 9,700,000