BBC Sounds – a streaming media and audio download service from the BBC, that includes live radio broadcasts, audio on demand and podcasts, sees over 1.3 billion plays in 2021. In comparison over a similar period in 2020 it marks an increase of 8%, as listeners enjoy more brilliant BBC audio on their devices.

BBC Sounds

Listening to podcasts and music mixes has really grown again this year, with new music and podcast tabs on BBC Sounds making it even easier for listeners to find audio to suit what they’re looking for. It’s great to see our firm favourites and brilliant big name talent continuing to delight the audience, as well as new titles prove to be really popular this year,” says Controller of BBC Sounds, Jonathan Wall.

The latest figures shows, there were 558 million plays of podcasts and on demand radio programmes on BBC Sounds, with a nearly 25% increase in podcast listening compared to the same period last year. Listeners regularly turn to BBC Sounds for digestible information on significant events, with Newscast the most popular podcast on the platform this year. The Archers was the most popular on demand programme, with audiences also indulging in other much loved long-running series such as Desert Island Discs, In Our Time, Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.

On demand listening of music mixes also increased up by 24% compared with the previous year. More listeners came to BBC Sounds for a range of music mixes to soundtrack their year, from the soothing sounds of Mindful Mix, to reinvigorating workouts with the Pace Setter mix. Nostalgic tunes continue to delight as Sounds of the 90s with Fearne Cotton holds the top spot for a consecutive year. Glastonbury sets brought the magic of live music to homes around the UK, with Summer Sounds and The Happy Hour from Radio 1 continuing to lift spirits throughout an unpredictable year.