New dramas and an edition of The Apprentice featuring a dodgy logo helped the BBC iPlayer break records and enjoy the highest reach of any provider.
The Tourist, The Responder, This is Going to Hurt, The Rules of the Game, and Chloe helped BBC iPlayer record 1.83 billion streams in the three months to the end of March. The return of Killing Eve and Peaky Blinders also helped streaming requests to surge.
There was drama of a different type in the boardroom, with the Cruise Ship episode of The Apprentice making into the top 10 most watched individual episodes on the iPlayer. It famously featured this widely mocked logo for a Cruise Ship, which led to the team to the losers’ cafe instead of the high seas.
Overall, episodes of The Apprentice were streamed 33 million times.
The BBC’s Winter Olympic coverage created 29 million stream requests.
🔽 Bad banana: The cruise ship episode of The Apprentice generated 4.4 million streams
New records without lockdown
The record start to 2022 follows iPlayer’s best year ever – with 6.5 billion programmes streamed in 2021, up 12% on 2020. Jan-Mar 2021 figures were helped upwards due to lockdown measures in the UK, where as restrictions were more relaxed during the same period this year.
The BBC iPlayer was launched in 2008, originally as a seven day catch-up service. Its remit has been expanded to allow it retain programmes for longer and to offer a greater number of boxsets in response to changes in viewer demand. It has recently undergone a revamp to make navigation on smart TVs simpler.
Dan McGolpin, director of BBC iPlayer, says:
“BBC iPlayer is more popular than ever in 2022 and the rollout of a more modern look has helped the service to notch-up its best ever quarter across the first three months. A formidable and thrilling collection of brand new drama series feature heavily on the most-watched programme lists with The Tourist narrowly ahead of The Responder in first position for top episode and there has been a breath-taking choice available from the Winter Olympics to Green Planet, so it was fantastic to see the long-awaited return of The Apprentice make the top slot for total viewing across a full series. Together with the last-ever instalments of Peaky Blinders and Killing Eve landing towards the end of the quarter, two of iPlayer’s most popular programmes of all time, there really is something for everyone whether you’re in the mood for classic boxsets or brand new shows.”
BBC iPlayer’s top ten most-watched episodes per series between January and March 2022 are:
|1||The Tourist||Episode 1||6.1m|
|2||The Responder||Episode 1||5.2m|
|3||Peaky Blinders||Black Day||5.1m|
|4||The Apprentice||Cruise Ship||4.4m|
|5||This Is Going To Hurt||Episode 1||4m|
|6||Four Lives||Episode 1||3.8m|
|7||Rules of the Game||Episode 1||3.5m|
|8||Killing Eve||Just Dunk Me||3.2m|
|10||The Green Planet||Tropical Worlds||3m|
BBC iPlayer’s most-watched boxsets between January and March 2022 are:
|5||Death in Paradise||23m|
|6||Call the Midwife||22m|
|7||This Is Going To Hurt||20m|
[images in this article: BBC]