bbgstrategy.com; via LJB by email
BBG broadcasters now boast a weekly audience of 226 million people – up more than 60 million in five years. The BBG broadcasters also scored well with audiences in terms of trust, understanding, and other measures of impact…
Gains at Voice of America helped to drive overall BBG audiences to record levels in 2015 – now pegged at 226 million people each week.
That’s an increase of 11 million over 2014, and up 61 million over the past five years.
It’s worth noting that this is an actual weekly audience estimate, supported by a global research campaign headed by Gallup. While similar to audience estimates of respected international broadcasters such as the BBC and Deutsche Welle, it differs from audience estimates given by others, such as Russia’s RT – which simply gives potential audience estimates based on cable and satellite coverage.
Television usage of BBG news and information continued to rise in 2015 – not only because of the medium’s overall popularity, but due to BBG broadcasters making more television content and partnering with best-in-class affiliates around the world, such as TV Azteca in Mexico, Channels Television in Nigeria, and major television outlets in Ukraine and the Former Soviet Union. This year, 142 million people reported watching BBG television programming each week – up from 125 million in 2014.
Usage of digital BBG products also continued to climb, now engaging 32 million people at least once per week. While radio declined overall, it still holds an audience of more than 100 million weekly, and in many places around the world, it remains the dominant medium.
Often, audience members use BBG news and information on more than one medium.
Among the five BBG broadcasters, Voice of America fared best this year, adding 16 million in audience. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty added a more modest 300,000, giving it a second consecutive year of audience growth.
The BBG’s Middle East Broadcasting Networks took a loss primarily due to the inability to get fresh audience data from Syria. The vast majority of the research used for the audience estimate is just one or two years old. The Syrian data had aged more than five years and thus was eliminated from the data set.
Similarly, Radio Free Asia posted a slight loss largely due to the aging out of Taiwanese data. More than 6 million in weekly audience was lost from the BBG count due to the elimination of the Syrian and Taiwan data.
The BBG is unable to conduct independent research in Cuba, thus there is no audience estimate for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting – home of Radio and TV Martí.
Note the numbers in the following chart below are not unduplicated – some in the audience use more than one of the BBG services.
Overall, BBG broadcasters posted gains in Iraq, China, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and Thailand. Losses occurred in Egypt and Ethiopia.
While audience size is just one measurement of impact, BBG broadcasters scored well on other measures, saying that the information is trustworthy, helps them form opinions, and is shared with others.
Background:The BBG arrives at its audience estimate via an extensive global research effort headed by the Gallup Organization. Using methodology widely supported by industry and academia, the BBG, Gallup, and local research organizations conduct tens of thousands of face-to-face interviews, polling adults aged 15 and older on their media consumption habits. In some markets, phone surveys are used. The BBC, Deutsche Welle, and France Médias Monde participate in many of the surveys by way of agreement with the BBG.More than 80% of these surveys were conducted within the previous two years, in more than 100 countries and territories. In total, they represent 2.9 billion people in markets around the globe. The audience estimate excludes audiences in North Korea, Tibet, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Cuba, Oman, and Turkmenistan, where BBG is unable to conduct audience surveys._________
1 The MBN figure includes the audience for Afia Darfur, the radio service dedicated to the Darfur region of Sudan.
2 NA – Surveys conducted in politically repressive environments that are generally hostile to international broadcasting. Because individuals in these countries are discouraged or even prohibited by their governments from listening to U.S. international broadcasts, actual audience can be difficult to measure.
3 RFA cannot consistently measure audiences in some of its markets, where consumption of international media is discouraged or prohibited.