The BBC’s hugely popular iPlayer streaming service had its best month to date with over 100 million streams during December. The traditionally huge audiences for Christmas television helped matters greatly with Festive specials galore getting watched and re-watched via the iPlayer, indeed David Tennant’s farewell as Doctor Who which chalked up an impressive 1.3 million streams.
The most watched programme on the service over Christmas was Top Gear’s special set in Bolivia while radio-wise Terry Wogan’s departure from his Radio 2 breakfast show became something of a national event across the water and the velvet-voiced legend’s farewell to fans helped bump up the iPlayer numbers greatly.
Erik Huggers, director of future media and technology with the Beeb commented that, “Breaking the 100 million barrier is a great way to kick off 2010 and these figures show that by offering simple and varied access to BBC iPlayer people are really finding it easy to catch up with their favourite programmes at a time that suits them,”
Huggers (great name) added, “I expect more people to start using the service as we continue to make it more widely available and I’m looking forward to some of the new innovations we have coming to the service later on in the year.”
RTE’s similar RTE Player service has aped the BBC model superbly in the last year too, and while viewing figures haven’t been announced for December as yet in these parts, the Irish national broadcaster has become one of the first organisations of its kind in the world to launch a comprehensive international online TV catch-up service to help the Irish Diaspora keep up with events back home.