BBC Radio’s download and podcast trial is proving to be hugely popular, averaging over 100,000 download requests a week during July. The first published figures show Radio 4’s In Our Time is the most popular programme included in the trial to date, averaging 30,000 download requests a week since the trial began earlier this year.
“These figures illustrate the public’s appetite for radio on demand,” said Simon Nelson, Controller of BBC Radio and Music Interactive. “We’re delighted to offer new ways of listening that complement other, increasingly popular technologies like DAB digital radio and digital television.”
The figures refer to the number of individual requests made for programmes in the trial - as opposed to ‘user agents’ or ‘listens’ - and there is currently no distinction between programmes downloaded and podcast. The BBC was the first British broadcaster to podcast when it made In Our Time available last November, before announcing an extended trial to include around 20 radio programmes in April this year.
July was also a strong month for BBC Radio websites, with 7.1 million unique user agents consuming more than 13.5 million hours of live and on demand radio (streamed via the BBC Radio Player). Leading the charge was digital-only station Five Live Sports Extra, which smashed its online listening record - notching up 560,000 hours of live listening in the month, two thirds of which were live coverage of the first Ashes Test Parent network.
Radio Five Live also experienced record usage, attracting 1.2 million unique user agents, half of whom visited during the week of the 7 July bombings. The Proms website was visited by a record 190,000 unique user agents last month - 30,000 more than the previous record, set in July 2004.