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BBC iPlayer experiences biggest month ever with 570m programme requests in May

It is the on demand platforms second consecutive record breaking month.

Normal People
BBC/Element Pictures/Hulu
Published: Tuesday, 30th June 2020 at 12:01 am

The need for quality TV has been greater than ever during lockdown - and viewers have been turning to BBC iPlayer in record numbers since the coronavirus outbreak began.


For the second consecutive month, the on demand service has broken its record for the biggest month ever, with May seeing 570m requests to stream programmes on the platform up from the previous record of 564m in April.

The year-on-year growth is particularly impressive - with the figures representing a 72 per cent increase from the same month in 2019.

Among the most popular shows streamed during May were the mega hit Normal People - which saw 54m requests, and the third series of Killing Eve, which was requested on 35m occasions.

Other strong performers in May included the new series 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 - which believes will return next month.

Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, said, “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.

"Before the lockdown period began and all the way through it, iPlayer has been providing a unique mix of entertaining, informative and educational television whenever and wherever people want it.”

Meanwhile the BBC is still adding new programmes and older hits to the platform regularly - with recent additions including Michaela Coel's critically acclaimed consent drama I May Destroy You and the revived version of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads.


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