BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the U.K. public broadcaster BBC, on Tuesday launched BBC Podcasts Premium, its Apple subscription podcast service, in 166 new countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Specifically, the service is now available in France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, India, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, South Africa and Nigeria.
BBC Podcasts Premium offers early access and advertising-free listening for a range of the BBC’s most popular titles for listeners on Apple Podcasts, including Good, Bad, Billionaire, Infinite Monkey Cage and Intrigue. It also offers ad-free versions of popular shows across news, true crime, pop culture, history, science and fiction, including the BBC Global News Podcast, World Business Report and music star-hosted conversation show Dua Lipa: At Your Service, featuring “the people who inspire her most about topics like reinvention, sex and relationships, psychedelics, and more.”
The international rollout of BBC Podcasts Premium follows the service’s launches in New Zealand in March and Australia in May (it has been available in the U.S. and Canada since its launch year in 2021) and coincides with the launch of The Global Story, a new daily news podcast from BBC Studios and BBC World Service that is hosted by Katya Adler. “The Global Story drills deep into a single story every day, offering unrivaled context and deeper insight, drawing upon the BBC’s best global journalists and expertise from all over the world,” the U.K. broadcaster said.
“Audio is core to the BBC’s heritage. We’ve been doing it for over a century and it forms part of our fabric as a global newscaster and storyteller,” said Louise la Grange, senior vp – audio distribution, BBC Studios. “With a wide, inventive slate of audio content that includes everything from daily news to sports analysis to pop culture to fiction and more, we’re incredibly excited to continue to expand our relationship with Apple to reach more listeners globally. Through BBC Podcasts Premium, we’re inviting new audiences around the world into this seamless, premium listening experience to hear the very best of our audio journalism and storytelling.”
BBC Podcasts Premium is available from the BBC Podcasts channel on Apple Podcasts for $2.99 per month or for an annual price of $29.99. A seven-day free trial is available.
The global expansion marks the latest step for BBC Studios’ growth plans for its audio unit. Earlier this year, the BBC announced the move of audio production in selected genres including factual, entertainment and drama from the BBC’s in-house production team to BBC Studios. Earlier this month, BBC Studios named Richard Knight director of audio, BBC Studios Productions, starting in January. Reporting to Ralph Lee, the CEO of BBC Studios Productions, he will join the company from Amazon’s Wondery. La Grange is overseeing international audio distribution and monetization.
Other BBC Podcasts Premium content highlights include the likes of Americast, a weekly U.S. news and politics podcast; Business Daily, which looks at the daily drama of money and work; soccer news and analysis show Football Daily; health and wellbeing podcast Just One Thing with Michael Mosley; and Lady Killers With Lucy Worsley, in which the host and a team of female detectives “investigate the crimes of women from the 19th and 20th century from a contemporary, feminist perspective.”