BBC iPlayer records biggest month ever in May
Staff Reporter | On 30, Jun 2020Reading time: 4 mins
Viewers flocked to BBC iPlayer in record numbers in May 2020, which has now become iPlayer’s biggest month ever.
There were 570m requests to stream programmes on iPlayer last month, up from 564m programme requests in April 2020, which was the previous best month on record, and growing an extraordinary 72 per cent on the same month last year.
May saw lockdown measures eased slightly and improving weather across the country, but viewers continued returning to iPlayer for hit shows such as Normal People (with 54m requests for the series to date) and Killing Eve (with 35m requests for the new season so far, and 163m requests to date for all three season). Other strong performers in May included the new season of family drama The A Word, the one-off special Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe, returning entertainment series The Great British Sewing Bee and Glow Up and continuing favourites EastEnders and Casualty.
Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, says: “BBC iPlayer continues to rise higher with yet another record-breaking month in May – 72 per cent more programme requests than a year ago, it’s been the only place to binge on the wonderful new hit series Normal People and the place to see returning favourite Killing Eve first.”
In addition to hit new series like Michaela Coel’s brilliant I May Destroy You and the new revival of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, BBC iPlayer has also added a number of archive box sets recently, including Doctor Foster, Strike, Dracula, and Taboo, as well as new box sets like The First Team, What We Do in the Shadows, The Other One and Mayans M.C. BBC iPlayer also recently added a catalogue of 23 classic films from RKO Pictures.
BBC iPlayer demand hits record high during lockdown
13th May 2020
Viewings are flocking to BBC iPlayer in record numbers during lockdown, as people spend more time at home and more time looking for things to watch.
BBC iPlayer had its biggest ever day on Sunday 10th May, with 22.5 million requests – 1.1 million of which were for the Prime Minister’s statement. Since lockdown was announced on 23rd March, BBC iPlayer has seen 927 million requests – 61 per cent higher than the same 7-week period last year.
BBC Three’s hit new drama Normal People has contributed to those figures, with over 28 million requests to date. The continued popularity of Killing Eve also helped iPlayer to record its most successful week ever, with 146 million requests between 27th April and 3rd May.
April overall was the biggest month BBC iPlayer has ever seen, with 564 million requests. And, in the first three months of 2020, BBC iPlayer saw a record 1.4 billion requests, up 34 per cent on the same quarter in 2019.
Controller of BBC iPlayer Dan McGolpin says: “This has been a unique period in our history and I’m pleased that BBC iPlayer has been able to make such a positive contribution to what so many people are watching. It’s delivered the latest news whenever we want it, it’s been there for children and grown-ups who need to learn something new and it’s provided a place to escape, whatever the mood. From Bitesize Daily to Race Across the World, from Normal People to Killing Eve, people are finding more to watch on BBC iPlayer than ever before.”
Initially, growth was driven by people coming to BBC iPlayer for news, particularly the lockdown announcement itself, where the Prime Minister’s address received 900,000 requests. There was also a big increase in requests for children’s shows, including Bing, Hey Duggee and Numberblocks in this initial period. As the lockdown period has gone on, demand for drama and comedy programmes has grown strongly – Gavin And Stacey and Mrs Brown’s Boys have proven popular but the conclusion of This Country has been the most watched comedy programme. The new series of Our Girl and travel entertainment show Race Across the World have also done well.
Younger viewers have also been able to turn to iPlayer for educational programmes, with requests for Bitesize Daily growing more than tenfold from the day that it launched.
Most popular episodes since lockdown
|1||Kiling Eve Season 3||Episode 1||5.17m|
|2||Kiling Eve Season 3||Episode 2||3.69m|
|3||The Nest||Episode 1||3.63m|
|4||Kiling Eve Season 3||Episode 3||3.26m|
|5||Normal People||Episode 1||3.13m|
|6||Normal People||Episode 2||2.86m|
|7||The Nest||Episode 2||2.85m|
|8||Normal People||Episode 3||2.63m|
|9||Normal People||Episode 5||2.55m|
|10||The Nest||Episode 3||2.53m|
Most popular shows since lockdown
|1||Killing Eve Season 3||Episode 1||5.17m|
|2||The Nest||Episode 1||3.63m|
|3||Normal People||Episode 1||3.13m|
|4||Our Girl||Episode 1||1.91m|
|5||EastEnders||23rd March 2020||1.59m|
|6||Race Across the World Season 2||Episode 1||1.5m|
|7||This Country Season 3||Episode 6||1.38m|
|8||Killing Eve Season 1||Episode 1||1.23m|
|9||Prime Ministerial Statement||10th May 2020||1.1m|
|10||BBC News Special||10th May 2020||1.1m|