BBC World Service - listening figures

How many people listen to BBC World Service? This page has the latest official audience figures. All figures quoted include listening across all platforms, including online.

More info: to find out more, including station addresses, people who work there, audience figures and how to listen, see BBC World Service’s directory listing.

Overview for BBC World Service

Survey period
September 2021 to December 2021
Total population covered
55,675,000adults (15+)
Total listeners per week
1,240,000 (2.0%)adults (15+)
Hours per listener
5.0hours per week
Total hours listened
6,217,000hours per week
Market share

Historical charts


Total weekly hours represents the total amount of listening to this radio station. This is affected by the total amount of weekly listeners, or how long each audience member listens for. Hours is normally the most important number for advertising sales.


Total weekly listeners - total reach - represents the total amount of people who tune in to this radio station. A ‘listener’ is counted as an adult aged 15+ who listens for at least five minutes.


Hours per listener shows how long people who tune in to this radio station stay listening. This is useful to work out whether the audience likes what they hear: or the consistency of the station sound.


Total market share shows how strong radio station is against other radio stations available. Since 1999, there have been many more radio stations launched, so total share will have decreased for most stations.


While not directly related to the radio output, the survey area population shows how many people live in the survey area that the above figures are based on. Sudden changes to this figure normally represent a change in the survey area, which is requested by stations themselves, reflecting a change in transmission or programming, and will affect the above figures. Otherwise, a slow growth reflects the growth in UK population.

We use the largest available reported area for each station in RAJAR. Hold your mouse over the graph to discover what the surveyed name was. Where a station is surveyed across multiple areas, individual areas may achieve higher figures. Examine trends with care: numbers are not always comparable. Please note that all RAJAR listening figures from Q3 2021 have been calculated using a modified survey methodology and this should be considered when making comparisons against historical data.