Boxsets boost for iPlayer

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A Christmas treat of box-sets has helped BBC iPlayer achieve its best week on record. Viewers spent more time and streamed more programmes on BBC iPlayer than in any previous week.

Christmas week (Monday December 25th to Sunday December 31st) was BBC iPlayer’s best-ever week, both for requests (69.2 million) and for weekly hours (25.6 million). That was considerably up on December 25-31 last year, when there were 58.6 million requests and 22.5 million hours watched.

A host of box-sets and classic programmes made available for people to enjoy during the holidays – from Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty to family favourite animation Stick Man – contributed to BBC iPlayer’s record-breaking week. The extra content has so far been requested more than 29.4 million times – an average of 1.7 million times a day.

Peaky Blinders has been a particular hit, clocking up more than 8 million requests so far. Viewers only have a few days left if they want to watch more of the special shows.

The record BBC iPlayer figures come on top of strong viewing figures for BBC One’s Christmas Day TV, with 9.6 million watching Call the Midwife on TV, 9 million seeing Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special, and more than 8 million tuning in to see the Strictly Christmas Special and EastEnders.

“It’s hugely exciting to see such unprecedented numbers come to BBC iPlayer this Christmas,” commented Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content. “The public have responded in their millions to the amazing range of content we’ve offered – and for those who are loving our special Christmas box set collection there are still a few days to go.”

The most popular show on BBC iPlayer over the whole festive period (December 18-31) was the EastEnders Christmas Day episode, which saw 1.6 million requests as tragedy struck the Branning family on the roof of the Queen Vic.

EastEnders has nine episodes in the top 20, which also saw strong showings for the Apprentice final, the finale of Peaky Blinders fourth series, Doctor Who’s Twice Upon a Time special and the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special.

Christmas box sets – which also include Miranda, Taboo and both series of Planet Earth and Blue Planet – will be leaving BBC iPlayer in the next few days.

The statistics used here will also increase as more data becomes available over the coming days, for example these figures do not yet include people watching BBC iPlayer on Sky and Virgin.


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