Crime drama McMafia has made digital audiences an offer they couldn’t refuse, as the show leads a record-breaking start to the year for BBC iPlayer.
The first episode of the James Norton-starring drama was streamed 3.4 million times on the Beeb’s catch-up platform, and continued to pull viewer back in: three other episodes of the series also featured in January’s top 10 most-popular programmes.
That popularity helped to drive BBC iPlayer to a new record month, building on a strong December to reach 328 million requests across the month, a 10 per cent increase on the same mont last year. There was a record average of 10.6m daily requests for TV content in January, and requests from TV devices reached a record-high proportion of 54%.
McMafia also paved the way for a string of crime series on BBC One, with the first episode of Silent Witness’ latest run racking up 2.3 million requests, and the first part of the apocalyptic Hard Sun from the creator of Luther bringing in 2.2 million requests. Hard Sun continued the Beeb’s push into box set territory, with the whole thing released at once alongside its linear TV debut. Audiences certainly proved arrested, with the first three episodes of the series all making the top 20 most popular episodes of the month.
Dan McGolpin, controller of programming and daytime for the BBC, says: “2018 has got off to a flying start, thanks in no small part to a range of gripping BBC dramas. McMafia, Hard Sun and Silent Witness dominate our most popular programmes on iPlayer for January, as does the always strong-performing EastEnders. It was also impressive to see the wildlife series Big Cats make this month’s top 5 performing series with an average of over 1 million requests per episode. It’s been a great start to the year, and we’re aiming to build on that success in the coming months.”
McMafia is still on BBC iPlayer for those yet to catch up, with all episodes available until 10pm on Tuesday 13th March. Here’s January’s top 10, courtesy of the BBC: