BBC iPlayer viewers up by a record 11%

BBC iPlayer viewers up by a record 11%

Wednesday, 21 February, 2018

2017 has been the strongest year yet for BBC iPlayer, but does it have what it takes to stand up to streaming giants Netflix and Amazon?

Throughout the year, iPlayer racked up 3.3 billion views with an average 272 million episodes being watched each month.

According to the BBC’s own analytics, the iPlayer audience is now pretty evenly split between men and women, but is overwhelmingly used by under-55s.

Beside the see-side

The platform’s most popular show was the groundbreaking Blue Planet II, the David Attenborough follow-up to 2016’s Planet Earth II, with over 4.7 million views on its premier episode. 

Blue Planet II showed audiences the sights and sounds of the ocean’s depths in revolutionary detail, and iPlayer was the best way to watch the spectacle, giving audiences the power to watch episodes in 4K Ultra-HD quality for the first time.

Other top shows include the latest season of Brummie-gangster-drama, Peaky Blinders, and the first season of historical epic, Taboo. Both shows are written by Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? creator, Steven Knight, and star actor, Tom Hardy – making the pair some of the biggest earners going for the BBC.

Episodes of Three Girls and Doctor Foster also feature in the list of most-streamed episodes, demonstrating the BBC audience’s continuing appetite for quality drama.

Louis Louis, oh yes

iPlayer also drew audiences with a growing library of boxsets and the release of ‘From The Archive’ – making classic shows available to streaming audiences for the first time.

BBC archive content has seen long-term success on other streaming services, such as the early-2000’s hit, Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends, which found lasting popularity on Netflix.

Also introduced in 2017 was the ability to pause and resume viewing across multiple devices, and personalized recommendations from individual viewing habits.

These features, which have been standard on many other platforms for years, have finally started to bring iPlayer in line with the competition.

MAIN IMAGE: Jason Rogers/CC BY 2.0

Samuel Newman author picture


Samuel Newman is a consumer journalist and blogger based in Sheffield.

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

United Nations warns of ‘digital welfare dystopia’

The UN has warned internet users of handing over their data to ‘big tech’ and accused companies of exploiting the poorest users.

United Nations warns of ‘digital welfare dystopia’United Nations warns of ‘digital welfare dystopia’ Read more

BT and O2 launch 5G in the same week!

BT and O2 are the latest networks to enter the bitter high street 5G battle.

Read more

UK Porn block for children has been scrapped.

The government’s controversial ‘porn blocker’ plan, mired in delays and problems, has been officially scrapped.

Read more

Gigaclear undertake costly fibre install UNDER River Severn to reach rural customers

The upstart ISP embarks on ambitious plan to ensure rural customers have access to full fibre broadband!

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

Minimum connection speeds for common online activities

Read more

How many companies provide full fibre broadband?

Read more