BBC Radio Player and podcasts have a record month

LONDON - Fans of BBC radio racked up more than 20m hours of online listening and downloaded 2.8m podcasts in March, making it a record month for the corporation's online radio services.

Radio 1 led the way with 4m hours of live listening via the BBC Radio Player, creating more than 87m page impressions from 3.5m unique users. The station's breakfast DJ Chris Moyles' podcasts remain the most popular weekly download with 441,832.

The corporation says its record month is partly attributable to the success of DJ Scott Mills' 'One Night with Laura' slot. The diary segment followed the complicated love life of a BBC Radio 1 listener, and created 11.8m page impressions. 

Radio 2 also contributed 3m live listening hours in March, with Five Live Sports Extra recording 500,000 hours of live online listening for its coverage of the India versus England test series.

The BBC made almost all of its radio content available on the web in January 2005. Since then it has expanded its online content to include weekly podcasts from the likes of Terry Wogan, Chris Moyles and Jeremy Paxman.

Overall, traffic for BBC Radio websites in March exceeded 290m page impressions for the first time, attracting 9.3m unique users.

The BBC's podcasts scored 2.8m downloads in March -- up over 1m on February. The Today programme's 8.10 Interview podcast led the way with 474,357 downloads.

Other successful podcast downloads were Scott Mills, with 330,471, BBC Radio NewsPod with 147,664 and Daily Mayo with 61,254.

The results build on promise of the corporation's four-month Integrated Media Player trial, which invited 5,000 viewers to access downloadable BBC programmes via their PCs.

The iMP service is likely to pave the way for the launch of MyBBCPlayer later this year, subject to a public value test and a government white paper.

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