BBC iPlayer enjoys blockbuster success ahead of new design

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BBC iPlayer streaming has increased by 20 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data. Some 1.5 billion streams were recorded in the last financial quarter, up 20 percent compared to the same period last year and an astonishing 49 percent compared with 2019. As such, this makes it the biggest ever third-quarter for BBC iPlayer in history.

The surge in streaming demand seems to have been driven by claustrophobic submarine thriller Vigil, documentary 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room, and the belated Euro 2020 tournament.

The opening episode of Vigil was the most-watched show on BBC iPlayer during the period – recording more than 6.8 million streams during the three-month period (7.7 million in total). The silver medal goes to the UEFA Men’s Euro 2020 final between England and Italy, which was streamed more than 6 million times during the same period. 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room takes the final spot on the podium, streamed 2.8 million times.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics was the most-watched series overall across the three month period, which was streamed over 90 million times across all disciplines as sports fans watched Team GB bring home 65 medals. The BBC had come under fire over its coverage of the Olympics after it was outbid for the European rights. As such, those who wanted to watch every single fixture needed to sign-up to a Discovery+ subscription, which had the rights to stream everything.

Talking about the results, Director of BBC iPlayer and Channels Dan McGolpin said: “These results show the fantastic breadth of content available for all on BBC iPlayer including the country’s biggest sporting moments, enthralling new drama series like Vigil and captivating documentaries like 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room. iPlayer has something for everyone and people are using it more than ever, viewing grew 20 percent year-on-year to our best Q3 on record and we are on track for our best ever year.”

The blockbuster success comes as BBC iPlayer is in the midst of a major rebrand. The process is part of a corporation-wide refresh after audience research showed that the BBC’s previous look was considered “old fashioned” by its viewers. iPlayer will soon enjoy a new look comprised solely of simple graphic shapes. This style is shared across a wide range of services, including BBC Sounds, BBC News, BBC Weather, BBC Sport and BBC Bitesize, which will all use three differently-configured blocks in various colour combinations.

For iPlayer, that colour will be a graduated shade of pink. The shapes are configured into a triangular ‘Play’ symbol. The redesign also implements the new BBC-owned font Reith, named after the BBC’s founder John Reith. This same font will be used across all of the new designs, including the main BBC logo, BBC One, and others.

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