American Crime Story leads dramatic month BBC iPlayer
James R | On 08, May 2018
American Crime Story was the most popular programme on BBC iPlayer in March, as the catch-up service enjoyed a dramatic month.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace, the second season in the hit Crime anthology, stars Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin and Darren Criss – a line-up that, combined with its starry subject matter, drew 1.6 million requests on iPlayer for its first episode.
Indeed, drama was the flavour of the month, with 19 of the top 20 most popular iPlayer episodes stemming from the genre. Fans were captivated by the conclusion of Carey Mulligan-starring Collateral, with 1.2 million requests for the final episode, while JK Rowling’s Strike: Career of Evil also proved popular with 1.1 million requests. Call the Midwife’s seventh season drew big numbers too, with almost 1 million requests for the final episode.
EastEnders fans continued to enjoy catching up with the action from Albert Square, with the soap accounting for 11 of the top 20 most-requested episodes. The only non-drama programme to crack the top 20 was the return of BBC Three’s This Country, with the Cotswolds-based mockumentary building on its awards success to cement itself as one of the online channel’s breakout hits.
The result was the BBC streaming service’s third best month on record. 315 million programmes were viewed in March, up 15 per cent on the same month last year, with 10.2 million daily requests. The month sits just behind January 2018 (328 million) and December 2017 (327 million) as one of the best BBC iPlayer has ever seen. Indeed, after a strong January and February, BBC iPlayer has just reported its best first quarter to date.
Dan McGolpin, controller of programming and daytime for the BBC, says: “Drama continues to have an extraordinary year on BBC iPlayer. Building on a brilliant January and February, this month drama fans were treated to captivating US drama like The Assassination of Gianni Versace as well as world-class British programmes like Collateral, Strike and the ever-brilliant Call the Midwife. And after the short month in Feb the stats are back to the great performance we saw over Christmas and New Year, with our best March ever and our third best month on record, making for our strongest first quarter ever.”