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BBC iPlayer Help

I'm in the UK. Why am I getting advertisements on podcasts?

On Tuesday 1 May 2018, the BBC introduced advertising on podcasts delivered outside the UK.

When a podcast is downloaded (or streamed), we detect whether you’re in the UK or not, regardless of how you’re accessing the podcast. If our systems detect you as being outside the UK at the point of downloading or playing, you may have advertisements added to your podcast.

There are several reasons why we think you're outside the UK; the most common are either:

  • Your IP address, which is the address websites use to determine where in the world you are, not being registered in the UK
  • You are using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), proxy, or similar service which masks your IP address

But you can do something about it

This page will explain what can be done and will also list other possible reasons why this could be happening and what to do.

  • Using a VPN or proxy? Try disabling it.

If you are using a VPN or proxy service and are in the UK, try disabling it to see if that helps. If we detect that you might be using a VPN, we won't be able to identify where you are. As such you'll have advertisements on podcasts as we can't be certain that you are in the UK.  


  • Maybe your IP address isn't registered in the UK?

If your ISP (Internet Service Provider) has supplied you with a recently created or newly sourced IP address, it may be that it hasn't been registered correctly or sometimes it may just take a few weeks for the various databases across the internet and our own database to be updated to recognise the IP address as being located within the UK. 

You should check with your ISP whether this could be the case before deciding to contact iPlayer Radio Support. 


  • Check your IP address yourself

While not definitive, there are various IP checking websites, such as or for example, that will list your IP address, where it believes you are, and what ISP the address is registered with. 

If those details are different to what you believe are correct, contact your ISP as it's possible the IP address has been recently obtained by your ISP, or it may not be registered correctly, or is awaiting certain databases to be added, which could take a few weeks. 

If you are going to contact iPlayer Radio Support, please include your ISP details. 


  • Web accelerator

If you're using a web accelerator, try disabling it to see if that helps. 


  • Work computer

Some companies and organisations might have an internal network which routes data outside the UK. It's worth checking with your company's IT support to confirm. 


  • Tor Network

If you are using or participating in the Tor network, be aware that you need to use a Tor relay node for our systems to confirm you are in the UK.


  • Using a mobile device? 

In addition to the above guidance, check whether any data reduction features are set in your browser settings as some mobile browsers route data outside the UK when data reduction features are used.

Chrome may refer to this as ‘Reduce data usage’ in Bandwidth Management and Opera may refer to this as ‘off road’ or ‘Turbo mode’ depending on your browser version. And remember to check your browser is up to date! You can also try another browser.

Also, data compression apps may route data outside the UK, so try disabling them.


  • Are you subscribed to podcasts?

If subscribed podcasts automatically download when they become available, if you spot the odd podcast with advertisements then it’s probable at the point of download one of the above circumstances (like being on a VPN enabled network) may have occurred.

Want to know more about advertisements on podcasts outside the UK?

For more information, visit the BBC World Service Radio FAQ page.

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