BBC iPlayer enjoys record week as viewers switch off traditional TV

Cillian Murphy stars in Peaky Blinders
Credit
Robert Viglasky

A Christmas treat of box-sets has helped BBC iPlayer achieve its best week on record.

There were 69.2m requests - a measure of viewership online - between Christmas Day and the end of 2017, a rise of almost 20 per cent on the same period the year before.

The BBC has put the increase down to making a number of series, including Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty, available on-demand in their entirety over the Christmas period.

In a sign of these changing patterns of behavior, more viewers logged onto iPlayer and streamed more content between 25 and 31 December than on any other week on record with 69.2m individual content requests being made cumulating in a total of 25.6m hours spent. This compares with 58.6m requests and 22.5m hours between 25 December and 31 December previous year.

The record BBC iPlayer figures come on top of strong viewing figures for BBC One's Christmas Day TV, with 9.6 million watching Call the Midwife on TV, 9 million seeing Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special, and more than 8 million tuning in to see the Strictly Christmas Special and EastEnders. Gangster drama Peaky Blinders along garnered more than eight million requests. Viewers only have a few days left if they want to watch more of the special shows.

The Corporation claims this content has been requested 1.7 million times a day on average. The shows will be withdrawn in the next few days.

BBC director of content Charlotte Moore describe the numbers as "unprecedented".

Following the playbook of rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime, it released a bumper set of box-sets for Christmas, a move it has credited for the boost in numbers.

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