Newscast was the most popular podcast on BBC Sounds over the last three months, according to the latest quarterly figures from the national broadcaster.
The report showed a new record for BBC Sounds with a peak of 4.53 million weekly listeners across the mobile application and website. However, despite combining podcasts and on-demand radio, this is almost half the weekly podcast listeners for Spotify (8.13m) and Apple Podcasts (7.13m) in the US, according to a report by Statista in February 2022. Of BBC Sounds’ 392 million total plays for Q3, 178 million of them were for on-demand radio and podcast content, as opposed to music mixes.
“BBC Sounds has continued to grow this year, with a record number of people coming to us for our high quality and trusted news content during the biggest news events in the UK and to help understand how policies might impact them,” said Jonathan Wall, director of BBC Sounds.
News podcasts have been dominating the podcast charts under the current political climate in the UK with The Rest Is Politics ranking as number one on Apple Podcasts in the UK for almost three consecutive weeks and Global’s The News Agents following it as a close second in the charts.
Newscast’s most popular episode to date was the “The Liz Truss BBC Local Radio Interviews”; a supercut of eight different interviews of the then-Prime Minister defending her mini-budget.
Other political news podcasts across BBC Sounds that have landed in the top 10 most played this quarter include Boris, a documentary-style podcast exploring the life and career of the ex-PM, which ranked number 5, and Ukrainecast at number 10.
Around the world, news podcasts have also been gaining popularity, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Annual Report revealing that news shows got the highest increase of downloads with 50% growth year-on-year.
BBC World Service’s Global News Podcast and The Documentary Podcast, which releases daily 30-minute documentaries looking at global issues, were also the top two most played podcasts on third party platforms, with a total of 256 million global podcast downloads.