BBC iPlayer records best ever year | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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iPLayer 12Feb20182017 was an annus mirabilis for the BBC’s live and catch-up online video service as the decision to offer more box sets and hits from the archive, as well as greater personalisation and the BBC’s first Ultra HD programme have taken the iPlayer to new highs.

BBC data has shown that viewers streamed 272 million programmes per month on average in 2017, with total requests growing to 3.3 billion, an 11% increase on the previous year. The most popular show of 2017 was the first episode of natural history series Blue Planet II, with 4.8 million requests. It was followed by the opening episodes of new Tom Hardy period drama Taboo and Doctor Foster series two.

December 2017 was the BBC iPlayer’s best month on record generating 327 million requests, a 17% increase on the same month in 2016. Requests from connected TV devices were up 34% compared with December 2016, and showing a clear direction of travel for the platform, mobile requests rose 19% annually while those from computers were up 3%.

A strategy of making available all series of its most popular programmes as box sets over the Christmas holiday saw BBC iPlayer viewers spend more time and stream more programmes than in any previous week. The week from 25 December to 31 December was BBC iPlayer’s best ever week, both for requests, drawing in 69.2 million, and for weekly hours, which amounted to 25.6 million. Box sets made available included Peter Kay’s Car Share, Motherland, Top of the Lake: China Girl and Feud: Bette and Joan made available to watch in full immediately after the first episode had been broadcast. Other shows like Taboo, Apple Tree Yard, Blue Planet II and Doctor Who remained on BBC iPlayer throughout their run and were made available to watch as a box set for 30 days after the final episode of the series aired.

Blue Planet II was also available to watch in Ultra HD and high dynamic range, offering what the BBC said was its the best picture quality ever BBC.

“Viewers are using BBC iPlayer more and more and in 2017 we made that experience better than ever,” remarked Dan McGolpin, BBC controller of programming and daytime. “They delved into landmark factual series such as Blue Planet II and were enthralled by a breath-taking range of drama, from Taboo to Doctor Foster. Over the festive period we provided unexpected treats, bringing back some well-loved box sets for people to watch in their own time. BBC iPlayer now offers a broader range of relevant choices personalised for all and it will get better still over the coming year.”