BBC iPlayer records best-ever first half of the year | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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Just as research from UK regulator Ofcom was revealing that time spent on UK streaming services had doubled during the outbreak of the pandemic, the BBC has announced that the iPlayer had attracted a record-breaking number of viewers in the first half of 2020.
iPlayer H1 5Aug2020
In all, in the first six months of 2020 the on-demand, catch-up and live service had seen 3.1 billion requests to stream programmes, up by 47% at the same time in 2019. Furthermore, the April-June quarter also marked a new best-ever quarter for iPlayer with 1.6 billion requests, an increase of more than half (59%) on the same quarter last year. Viewing was already up prior to the UK lockdown, with the first quarter 34% higher than the same quarter for 2019.

Hit new BBC Three drama Normal People and the third series of thriller Killing Eve made up all of the top ten most popular episodes so far this year. The latest chapter of Villanelle and Eve’s story tops the list, with episode one achieving 6.95 million requests and series 3 receiving a total of 35.6 million requests so far. This was followed by the start of Connell and Marianne’s love story in Normal People, with the first episode receiving 5.54 million requests and the 12-part series getting an enormous 54.8 million requests - the highest for a drama series so far this year.

Demand was also high for other new dramas like The Salisbury Poisonings as well Normal People and the latest series of favourites including The A Word in addition to Killing Eve. Viewers in the quarter also were attracted by reality TV programmes The Great British Sewing Bee and MasterChef.

Commenting on achieving the record steaming audience, Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, said: “It’s fantastic to see record viewing levels on BBC iPlayer across the first half of 2020, with huge numbers for the brand new and simply unmissable Normal People and for hotly anticipated returners like Killing Eve, This Country and Race Across the World. In a year full of challenges, BBC iPlayer has entertained us, connected us to events like the virtual Glastonbury and the restarted football season, broadened our horizons through Culture in Quarantine, educated our younger family members through BBC Bitesize and all the while kept us informed of the latest news from around the globe.”