EastEnders most streamed on iPlayer as Christmas catch up enters the living room
James R | On 08, Jan 2016
EastEnders was the most watched thing on BBC iPlayer in December, dominating the chart of the most popular TV episodes. The soap opera’s Christmas Day episode was the most popular, followed by the Boxing Day instalment, with 1.46m and 1.8m views respectively. In total the soap opera accounted for six of the top 10 most popular episodes.
Only the finale of The Apprentice could compete, with Season 11’s climax becoming the second most-streamed thing on the Beeb’s VOD service with 1.3m requests.
Mrs. Brown’s Boys won the battle of the Christmas specials, with 969,200 views, placing it just ahead of the second part of Luther’s Season 4 (934,500). Doctor Who fared less well, with The Husbands of River Song racking up 770,400 views between 21st and 31st December.
And Then There Were None, the BBC’s other high-profile festive production, was also a big hitter, with 1.89m viewers tuning in to see the first episode and 720,600 and 558,500 tuning in for the second and third parts of the Agatha Christie adaptation.
The most revealing trend, though, is how people were choosing to watch things online: Connected TVs, be they Smart TV models or televisions with streaming media devices attached, were the most-used devices to watch BBC iPlayer – unique browsers on connected TVs rose 32 per cent on the same period in 2014, accounting for 38 per cent of users, followed by tablets (24 per cent), computers (22 per cent) and phones (17 per cent).
“We’ve seen a real surge in people watching the best of the BBC through connected TVs,” says Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer. “More and more people were watching BBC iPlayer on the biggest screen in the house.”
With the Great Christmas Catch-up taking place in the living room more than ever before, EastEnders’ popularity may be an indication that, instead of hiding away in separate rooms to stream things on their phones, families are now starting to join together to watch VOD as a group.
Photo: BBC/Kieron McCarron