The BBC iPlayer delivered 7 billion streams in 2022, up 9% on the previous year. There were 2 billion streams in the last quarter of 2022, including the football World Cup, which had 92 million streams over the course of the tournament coverage. That still pales in comparison to the most popular programme title.
“2022 saw huge growth for BBC iPlayer. 7 billion streams is double where we were a few years ago,” said Dan McGolphin, the director of BBC iPlayer.
There were 3.6 billion requests on the BBC iPlayer in 2018. The rise in usage in recent years reflects the role of the online video platform changed from being positioned as a catch-up service to a destination, boosted by relentless on-air promotion.
There were 2 billion streams delivered in the last three months of 2022, with 700 million in December.
The World Cup coverage was streamed 92 million times over the tournament. The Commonwealth Games delivered 53 million streams, and tennis from Wimbledon provided 43 million.
The continuing drama EastEnders was streamed 366 million times over the year, an average of just over a million streams a day, which is remarkable as average viewing figures for the serial continue to sink.
The most popular drama series was Doctor Who, with 56 million streams, followed by the period drama Peaky Blinders at 55 million, with the most popular episode reaching 6.9 million.
|1||FIFA World Cup 2022||92,267,000|
|5||Waterloo Road (2006-16)||46,380,000|
|6||Death in Paradise||46,091,000|
|7||Strictly Come Dancing||44,909,000|
|10||Match of the Day||40,451,000|
The BBC does not break out figures for news or children’s programming. However, the animated pre-school series Hey Duggee was the third most popular programme on iPlayer over Christmas. Bluey and Bing were also ranked fifth and seventh respectively.
|1||Peaky Blinders Ep 1||6,925,000|
|2||The Tourist Ep 1||6,428,000|
|3||The Responder Ep 1||6,164,000|
|4||FIFA World Cup 2022 England v Iran||5,592,000|
|5||SAS Rogue Heroes Ep 1||5,526,000|
|6||The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II||5,043,000|
|7||Inside Man Ep 1||5,028,000|
|8||The Apprentice Ep 1||4,889,000|
|9||Sherwood Ep 1||4,855,000|
|10||This is Going to Hurt Ep 1||4,753,000|
It is notable that in each case the first episode of a series had the highest viewing, which typically drops off during a series.
The most watched match from the World Cup on the iPlayer was the first England game, which took place on a Monday afternoon.
The funeral of the Queen was watched by an estimated peak audience of around 28 million people in the United Kingdom, making it one of the largest ever television events in the country.