iPlayer sets new records - stats for the first half of 2021

iPlayer sets new ratings records in the first half of 2021

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Drama and sport fans helped as BBC iPlayer sets new records for the first half of the year in 2021

Programmes were streamed over 3.3 billion times between January and June this year, up 8% on the same period last year, and up a massive 59% on the same period in 2019 following huge growth in early 2020 (undoubtedly due to lockdown).

The second half of the year has also kicked off to a record-breaking start, thanks to the huge popularity of Euro 2020 and Wimbledon, both of which were available to watch on iPlayer in Ultra HD. The Euro 2020 final between England and Italy on 11 July set a new live viewing record on iPlayer, with 5.8 million streams, while the Wimbledon Men’s singles final drew big numbers too, with 1.7 million live streams as Novak Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini.

So far, 2021 on iPlayer has seen:

Police corruption thriller Line Of Duty’s return become the biggest single episode of the year, as the first episode of the sixth series was streamed 8.7 million times — also more than any single episode across the whole of last year

Viewers have also raced through the previous  five series, with the show streamed a total of 127 million times in the first six months of the year

Line of Duty is now the second most popular programme of the year behind only EastEnders, which is enjoying its best year ever on iPlayer with 140 million streams in the first half of the year.

BBC iPlayer sets records — the figures

Here’s the table from the BBC news item:

Rank Programme Episode Streams
1 Line Of Duty Series 6 – episode 1 8,745,000
2 The Serpent Episode 1 6,092,000
3 Time Episode 1 5,572,000
4 Line Of Duty Series 1 – episode 1 5,190,000
5 Euro 2020 Round of 16: England v Germany 5,113,000
6 Bloodlands Series 1 – episode 1 4,638,000
7 The Pact Episode 1 4,201,000
8 Traces Episode 1 4,078,000
9 Line Of Duty Series 2 – episode 1 3,541,000
10 A Perfect Planet Episode 1 – Volcano 3,484,000

We look forward to seeing how this table develops over the whole of 2021. If nothing else, the Olympic figures may be worth studying, particularly as this time the BBC doesn’t have access to all events.