A record 162 million programmes were streamed on the BBC iPlayer during the first full week of 2021 (January 4-10).
With the UK once again on a national lockdown, viewers enjoyed programmes like The Serpent, A Perfect Planet, Traces and EastEnders on iPlayer. Significantly, in the same week 4.1 million people under the age of 35 signed into their BBC Account.
Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, said: “More people than ever are using BBC iPlayer and they are using it more often, with a staggering 5.8 billion streams in 2020. They are finding more boxsets to choose from, a growing Ultra HD offer and a brand-new kids experience for our youngest viewers.”
During 2020 the iPlayer introduced an expanded catalogue of drama, comedy, and documentary box sets and longer availability for many films, arguably in competition with SVOD platform Britbox, in which the BBC is a shareholder.
Normal People was the biggest box set of 2020, with the romantic drama getting 63.7 million streams on iPlayer across 2020. Other big dramas in 2020 included the returning series of globe-trotting spy thriller Killing Eve, divorce drama The Split, forensic crime drama Silent Witness and long running sci-fi drama Doctor Who.
Entertainment shows like MasterChef and Strictly Come Dancing also continued to prove popular with audiences, as the third and fourth most popular series of the year.