The BBC reports that its coverage of the Glastonbury festival, which took place last weekend, attracted a record number of viewers. The BBC's online streams of the performances were especially popular. Over 1.5 million users viewed the online content, which broke all previous BBC records for online traffic of Glastonbury coverage. Additionally, a full 42 percent of that traffic came from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The Rolling Stones attracted the most viewers with their show on Saturday, followed by Arctic Monkeys' set on Friday night and Mumford & Sons' killer blowout on Sunday. Overall, viewership increased 98 percent from the coverage of the last Glastonbury festival in 2011.
The BBC made Glastonbury a high priority this year and took a gamble by devoting an unprecedented level of coverage to the four day festival. It offered live streaming coverage from all six of the main stages and showed 120 live performances. In total, it provided over 250 hours of live coverage.
The BBC also increased the geographical range of its Glastonbury broadcasts this year. In addition to the online content, the company also broadcast, for the first time ever, "a bespoke six-hour Glastonbury spectacular" which reached audiences in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Even more content is scheduled to air in a "highlights show" that will be broadcast worldwide in the next few days.
Clearly, the gamble paid off. In a statement released in a BBC report on the Glastonbury coverage, the BBC Controller of Popular Music, Bob Shennan, expressed his happiness with the results of the extended coverage:
"Glastonbury 2013 on the BBC has been outstanding. Record-breaking numbers of people tuned in to what has been our most comprehensive digital Glastonbury offering to date. This year, we gave our audience the opportunity to watch what they wanted, when they wanted and how they wanted. And they did.”
The BBC also maintained a live blog and a Tumblr page throughout the festival.