Glastonbury coverage was streamed a record-breaking number of times across the BBC’s digital platforms, the broadcaster has revealed.
Whilst the lucky few who did manage to make their way through the heavenly gates at Worthy Farm this year, could see Billie, Macca and Kendrick in the flesh, the rest watched on from home. Unless the FOMO was so severe that you quickly turned off BBC iPlayer.
Yet figures from the weekend reveal that Glastonbury coverage was streamed a record 34.1 million times on BBC iPlayer and some 2.3m times on BBC Sounds. On BBC iPlayer, 23m streams were live – the highest on record for a BBC programme brand.
Sir Paul McCartney’s Glastonbury performance, in which he brought out Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen, had a peak audience of 3.9m and an average audience of 2.7m on BBC One. Diana Ross, meanwhile, had a peak audience of 3.8m and an average audience of 3.1m.
For context, streams increased by 116% on BBC iPlayer and 205% on BBC Sounds from 2019 across the same Friday to Monday period when the festival was last held – up from 15.8m and 765,000 respectively.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries might be seeking to break up the current funding model for the Beeb, but such figures demonstrate the corporation’s huge appeal and capacity in showcasing one of the year’s biggest cultural occasions.
Lorna Clarke, BBC director of music, said: “The BBC provided the ultimate armchair experience of the world’s best-loved festival this weekend with a dedicated Glastonbury channel on BBC iPlayer, 6 Music’s All-Day Glastonbury coverage, performances from the biggest artists on demand on BBC Sounds and over 35 hours of coverage across our TV channels.
“The party isn’t over yet, with over 90 sets and key tracks from the five filmed stages available to watch on BBC iPlayer – including Pyramid Stage performances in Ultra High Definition.” In short, you could watch – and can rewatch – all the coverage, without the mud and mosh pits. (If that’s any conciliation – which, let’s be honest, it isn’t).