Sharp downloads rise for Radio 4's 'Correspondent'

Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent has reported the highest percentage increase in download of programmes in the BBC download and podcast trial in September.

The 75 per cent increase equates to more than a quarter of a million downloads of the programme.

Editor Tony Grant told Press Gazette: "I'm not particularly surprised by the increase. From Our Own Correspondent lends itself to the format particularly well.

"I think it is important that more and more people are catching up with that. "I put the increase down to word of mouth and people telling each other how fantastic it is to be able to listen to the show whenever you like."

On-demand listening to BBC Radio on the internet reached record levels, with 12.5 million requests logged in September, according to the BBC's latest monthly statistics.

September also saw a record number of downloads of programmes — 4.8 million mp3s were downloaded over the course of the month.

From Our Own Correspondent, which last year celebrated its 50th anniversary, has evolved from the analytical reports of the early days to more descriptive, people focused stories, such as this week's report from correspondent Nick Squires in the Cook Islands on increasing levels of migration from the picturesque islands. Grant said: "The reason why it has been going for 50 years is that it is simple and it works, and it always will do. "You can't beat a simply told story that is told well and has a powerful message that evokes colourful pictures.

"It's a very simple format, it isn't the result of think-tanks working things out, or focus groups either. It is just pure story telling and that is always going to work."

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