The BBC’s director of content Charlotte Moore has hailed a “record-breaking” year for iPlayer after the British broadcaster’s streaming service was boosted by shows including RuPaul’s Drag Race and Peaky Blinders.
At the BBC’s Christmas drinks on Tuesday night, Moore revealed that iPlayer has clocked up 3.55B program requests in the ten months to the end of October 2019. This was up more than 10% on the same period in 2018.
Moore paused halfway through announcing the 3.55B figure to look at the audience and say “these figures are quite extraordinary,” as the BBC offered an insight into how its streamer is performing amid intense competition from Netflix and Amazon.
To put that in some context, iPlayer managed 3.6B views over the whole of last year, while in 2017, the online video player chalked up a total of 3.3B streams.
iPlayer has been given a shot in the arm by the UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has sashayed off with 12M requests since launch. Moore described it as a “game-changing” commission and it has already been renewed for a second season.
Moore also name-checked Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice and His Dark Materials as strong performers with audiences online, although the latter launched in November, so did not contribute to the 3.55B figure. The BBC has previously trumpeted the performance of Peaky Blinders, which racked up 42M views earlier this year, and Killing Eve‘s 100M iPlayer requests.