The BBC iPlayer claimed another monthly record, with 334 million requests in October, up 18% on the same month the previous year. The first episode of the drama Killing Eve apparently received a total of 8.17 million requests over September and October. The official BARB figures tell a different story, reporting a total audience of 8.25 million over 28 days, with nearly 90% watching on television.
There was an average of 10.8 million requests a day to the BBC iPlayer in October 2018. The total of 334 million monthly requests beat the previous record of 328 million in January and 327 for December the previous year.
Live requests for programmes and events remained consistent with the previous month at 16%.
Television platforms accounted for 56% of all BBC iPlayer requests for television programmes. That proportion has increased from around 45% in two years. Tablets and mobiles made up 18% and 11% respectively, while computers produced 14% of requests. The BBC says that all figures are only for the United Kingdom.
The most popular episodes for the month are dominated by Killing Eve, which had eight episodes in the top twenty. The first episode was the most popular programme of the month, with over 3.5 million requests, followed by Jodie Whittaker’s first episode as the Doctor in the new series of Doctor Who, with over 2.9 million requests. The Cry had 2.9 million requests for the first episode and 2.1m for the second. The opening episode of The Apprentice scored 2.2 million, while Strictly Come Dancing was placed twentieth at 1.4 million.
The top 20 programme episodes each had over a million requests. They were all either dramas or reality competition shows.
The numbers of individual programmes and series all exclude viewing on Sky and Virgin Media. The BBC says this is because this data arrives later.
The figures for the top shows initially look like they were down on the previous month, when Bodyguard hit 6.9 million for its opening episode, falling away to 3.0 million for the sixth.
However, the first episode of Killing Eve also aired that month, with 4.6 million requests, so the total for that episode was nearly 8.17 million over the two months.
Equally, the first episode of Bodyguard had a total of 8.9 million requests over August and September.
The television premiere of Killing Eve in the United Kingdom on BBC One was on 15 September. The entire series was then made available on the BBC iPlayer.
It is rather perplexing that according to BARB audience figures, the opening episode of Killing Eve recorded a 28-day audience of 8.25 million, of which 7.38 million watched on television, 402,232 on a computer, 316,793 on a tablet, and 147,877 on a smartphone. The total 7-day audience was 5.78 million, of which 5.42 million watched on television. It is difficult to square this with the total of 8.17 million requests for the episode reported by BBC iPlayer over two months, excluding satellite and cable.
It is not clear why there appears to be such a large discrepancy between the numbers reported by the BBC for iPlayer and those produced by BARB.