EastEnders dominated BBC iPlayer activity in May 2014, making up 15 of the 20 most popular programmes.
Usage of the BBC’s on-demand service continues to climb, with iPlayer racking up a total of 273 million requests (downloads and streams) last month, 6 per cent higher than May 2013 and higher than at any point last year,
The majority of people catching up on non-linear TV, though, are still driven by old-fashioned habits, as the Lucy Beale storyline boosted requests for that staple of the living room, soap opera EastEnders. The most popular episode (the one broadcast on 20th May) was viewed 1.35 million times last month.
New BBC One drama, Happy Valley, was also popular with the first five episodes generating over 5 million requests in total. BBC Three comedy Jonah from Tonga also continues to do well following the entire series’ early digital premiere on BBC iPlayer. Episode one picked up an impressive 1.2 million requests – not bad going for a programme about a less well-known character than Albert Square’s familiar faces.
Tablets continue to account for the majority of viewing activity, although, curiously, May saw the first increase in the proportion of requests coming from computers since July 2013: desktops made up one-third of total requests last month. The reason for the increase? People listening to the radio.
Coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest also made it into the top 20 this month with 672k requests, around half of which were live streams as people away from their TV sets kept up-to-date with action as it happened. The Eurovision Song Contest was the 11th most popular title on iPlayer, just ahead of the snooker in 12th.
Blackfish, the Storyville version of the controversial documentary, also swam up the charts, attracting just over half a million viewers.