UK public broadcaster the BBC’s BBC iPlayer video-on-demand service broke viewing records over the holiday period, seeing 245 million streams over between December 21 and January 3, up by 16% on the same two weeks last year.
New Year’s Day was the biggest day for iPlayer, with 21.2 million streams, the most popular New Year ever on the service, up 18% year-on-year, driven by real-life crime-drama The Serpent.
There were also 7.93 million unique browsers on New Year’s Day – breaking the record for unique browsers visiting iPlayer in a single day. This beats the 7.8 million record set on October 31, when further lockdown restrictions in England were announced.
A Christmas Day episode of popular soap opera EastEnders was the most popular series episode over the holidays, with over 1.5 million streams across the two-week period. The series itself was the most popular programme over the whole period, with more than 13.8 million streams.
A new range of dramas including Black Narcissus and The Serpent also proved popular, along with long-running series Call the Midwife’s Christmas Special and the movie Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Charlotte Moore, chief content officer said: “The unparalleled range of programmes on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds delivered a record breaking Christmas this year. More people chose a personalised version of the BBC and sought out content on a scale we’ve not seen before from the breadth of entertainment and escapism available.”
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