Lockdown drives BBC iPlayer to new highs, helped by ‘Killing Eve’

Killing Eve

The UK’s BBC has revealed that Sunday, May 10 was the busiest day ever for its in demand service iPlayer.

In total, the streamer received 22.5 million requests to stream or download programmes, with spy thriller Killing Eve and the BBC/Hulu coproduction Normal People proving to be the most popular shows. while prime minister Boris Johnson’s national address about Covid-19 streamed by 1.1 million viewers.

This is the second time in recent weeks that the iPlayer’s record has been smashed. The previous record of 20.4 million requests was set on 23 March – the first time that the streamer surpassed 20 million requests in a single day.

As the nation continues to deal with the ongoing lockdown, an ever increasing number of Brits are turning to the licence fee-funded streamer, with the BBC saying that it has received 927 million requests since 23 March.

Busiest week revealed

The iPlayer’s busiest week also happened in this period, with the platform handling 146 million streaming or download requests on the week of 27 April – 3 May.

Also boosting the streamer amid the pandemic has been the recent addition of classic BBC shows like Life On Mars and Spooks, while newer titles such as The Nest and Race Across the World have also proved popular with viewers.

BBC iPlayer controller Dan McGolphin said: “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.”

The news is further evidence of the iPlayer’s re-emergence as a dominant streamer in the UK following a record year in 2019. Though it proved a hit on its launch in 2007, the service subsequently lost ground amid an explosion of growth in the OTT space.

Last week, the broadcaster UK producer body Pact finally struck a far-reaching new terms of trade deal to enable the BBC to offer programming for 12 months via the streamer. The agreement, which has been in the works for a year, means the BBC will receive an automatic 12 month iPlayer window on all content it commissions within its initial payment.

Read Next