BBC iPlayer sets new festive record | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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Drama box sets, lavish period dramas and Christmas specials have all contributed to driving the best viewing over the Christmas and New Year period for the BBC’s iPlayer live, on-demand and catch-up service.
iPLayer Q3 21 27Oct2021
In its annual ‘festive season’ analysis, the BBC uses a 14-day period each year, selected to end on the last bank holiday in January, this year reporting on Tuesday 21 December to Monday 3 January.

The platform high an all-time high of 141 million programmes streamed during the week between 27 December and 3 January, up 6% on the same week a year previously. The New Year started in a similar vein with programmes streamed 143 million times on iPlayer in the first week of January 2021.

BBC iPlayer recorded its best festive day ever, with 22 million streams on 2 January, boosted by the arrival of the box set of The Tourist, the new Australia-based series starring Jamie Dornan. The series is currently the third most successful drama launch of all time on iPlayer, having been streamed over 18 million times to date.

In addition, BBC All-Screens+7 data -which reports on all viewing across linear BBC TV and BBC iPlayer during the first 7 days of availability - showed during the period from 20 December to 4 January that New Year’s Eve programme Happy New Year Live! drew an average audience of over 10.5 million – the first episode of The Tourist (8 million) and The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast (8.3 million) were the most watched programmes on BBC TV and BBC iPlayer combine.

The metric which combines and deduplicates BARB data and internal BBC iPlayer webstats to report on all viewing across linear BBC TV and BBC iPlayer during the first seven days following transmission of an episode plus pre-transmission viewing. It is said to be an ‘average audience per minute’ in line with standard BARB data.

In addition, Christmas specials of Death in Paradise (8 million), Call the Midwife (7.9 million) and Strictly Come Dancing (7.4 million) also performed well – along with new dramas A Very British Scandal (7.1 million) and Around the World in 80 days (6 million) which were watched live and on-demand by millions within their first seven days of availability.

The first instalment of A Very British Scandal topping the list of most streamed episodes across the festive period (21 December - 3 January) with 2.3 million streams. The first episode of outback drama The Tourist (1.6 million) and finale of psychological thriller The Girl Before (1.6 million) also proved popular, along with Christmas Day staples including the Call the Midwife Christmas special (1.6 million) and EastEnders (1.5 million). EastEnders was streamed 15.9 million times between 21st December-3rd January, making it the most streamed brand.