Last week (11–17 January), the BBC received a record number of visits to its lockdown learning resources, with children’s programmes on the iPlayer platform being requested a record-breaking 40.8 million times.
As the nation ploughs on through its third national lockdown, which could remain in place as far ahead as March, families are turning to BBC programming for both their education and entertainment needs. These numbers are the highest BBC Children’s has ever seen, beating last year’s record of 40.2m requests.
With the platform’s Lockdown Learning initiative being rolled out only last week, demand has been impressive, with Bitesize attracting some 5.8m visitors, a 12% surge on numbers seen in the first week of Bitesize Daily on 20 April last year.
On iPlayer, Bitesize Daily was requested 971k times, with lessons aimed at children aged 5–7 years most popular among users, accounting for 439k requests.
Lockdown Learning on BBC Two and CBBC also received a considerable spike in visits, with CBBC’s average audience for the programming growing by 355% throughout the week. The overnight average audience for BBC Two was 290k, a 5% spike compared to the slot average over the previous 52 weeks.
CBeebies performed particularly strongly on the iPlayer platform, breaking its own record for number of requests in a single week, with 32.3m total requests.
The four CBeebies apps saw more than 800,000 unique visitors last week, with Playtime Island, Go Explore, Get Creative and Storytime attracting pre-schoolers in their droves.
Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children’s and Education, commented: “As with the last lockdown, BBC Children’s and Education continues to provide vital support, entertainment and educational resources for parents and children across the UK. We are thrilled that millions of households are making use of these services for home schooling help and some much needed entertainment.”