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How BBC One and iPlayer captured mood of nation during lockdown

Speaking at the 2020 Virtual Edinburgh Television Festival, director of BBC content Catherine Moore elaborated on BBC One's key role in uniting communities around trusted content, and how it is driving iPlayer growth

More young and diverse audiences have turned to BBC One during these uncertain times as they seek trusted sources of information, entertainment, advice and support. That’s according to Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, who was speaking at the 2020 Virtual Edinburgh Television Festival.

In announcing new commissions for autumn/winter, Moore spoke of the BBC’s flagship channel capturing the mood of the nation and people’s “desire to escape” during the period of national lockdown, as well as being a destination where young people have flocked to for trusted information, again reinforcing the role the broadcaster continues to play in the national conscience.

“While the pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many, it has also highlighted the power of television and the valuable role that BBC One plays in people’s lives,” she said. “BBC One has increased its weekly reach and time spent so far this year compared to the same period last year by doing what it does best; bringing the nation together with record numbers coming to our programmes.”

Moore moved on to explain how BBC One is driving more and more viewers to iPlayer, helping to cement the platform as a destination in its own right. “BBC One and iPlayer are inextricably linked. BBC One responded to the mood of the nation and people’s desire to escape and this lead to record breaking numbers on iPlayer. The role of iPlayer came into its own; firmly establishing itself as an entertainment destination in its own right as viewers with time on their hands were able to see the full extent of the content available to them.”

The forecast is for iPlayer to continue to see its growth fuelled by the BBC’s principal channel, acting as the “shop window” for audiences to discover the full range of programming available on the platform.

“This is what BBC One can uniquely do; it provides a live schedule that talks to people in the moment with content that feels relevant to all of us and reflects a changing modern Britain,” Moore explained. “BBC One’s unrivalled commitment to creativity, diversity and risk taking is the gateway into growing iPlayer. Audiences come to be informed, educated and entertained – and we offer a range that put simply, only the BBC is able to.”