BBC iPlayer sees record-breaking start to 2021 | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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In what has been the with biggest week ever for the service, the first full week of the year, 4–10 January 2021, has seen a surge in viewing for the BBC iPlayer as viewers streamed 162 million programmes.
iPlayer 19Jan2021
Leading the charge for the live, VOD and catch-up platform were programmes such as The Serpent, A Perfect Planet, Traces and flagship EastEnders. The week also saw a record 4.1 million people aged under-35 sign into their BBC Account to watch BBC iPlayer with Pretty Little Liars, The FA Cup, A Teacher, The Serpent and A Perfect Planet proving popular with the key demographic.

The mega first week came on the heels of a record-breaking 2020 for the BBC iPlayer – which saw 5.8 billion programmes streamed from January-December 2020, up 31% compared with 2019. Attributing drivers for the growth, the BBC said the iPlayer’s surge in 2020 was accelerated by an expanded catalogue of drama, comedy, and documentary box sets and longer availability for many films.

Killing Eve, Normal People, Bing, The Nest and Gavin & Stacey topped the most streamed episodes on iPlayer in 2020 while Normal People, Killing Eve, MasterChef, Strictly Come Dancing and The Split top the list of series box sets in 2020. Set in Ireland and based on Sally Rooney’s hugely popular novel, Normal People was the biggest box set of the year, with the romantic drama getting 63.7 million streams on iPlayer across 2020. It was followed by Sydney-based series The Secrets She Keeps, Mike Bartlett’s Life, which followed the lives of four families in Manchester, Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You and the Scottish-set thriller The Nest.

The return of Killing Eve saw BBC iPlayer’s biggest single episode in 2020, with 7.4 million streams for the Villanelle’s return. Normal People’s first episode was the second most popular episode of the year, as audiences first met Connell and Marianne in their Sligo hometown.

“More people than ever are using BBC iPlayer and they are using it more often, with a staggering 5.8 billion streams in 2020,” commented BBC iPlayer controller Dan McGolpin. “They are finding more boxsets to choose from, a growing Ultra HD offer and a brand-new kids experience for our youngest viewers. The BBC iPlayer experience will keep getting better whatever your age and wherever you’re based, and we are already seeing 2021 breaking new records with viewers flocking to The Serpent, A Perfect Planet, the FA Cup and many more.”