Statistics released today by the corporation indicate that the top ten most popular programmes make up slightly a quarter of the total consumed via iPlayer, and programmes ranked outside the top 50 account for almost half of the total.
The number of users choosing to stream programmes outnumber those downloading them via the peer-to-peer iPlayer download system by a factor of eight to one.
"We are delighted with the public’s response to the BBC iPlayer," said Ashley Highfield, the BBC's director of future media and technology. "Attracting a million visitors, who’ve accessed over three and a half million programmes, within just two weeks is a wonderful start. Typically, people who use the BBC iPlayer are spending nearly half an hour a day watching streams of their favourite programmes, suggesting that it looks set to revolutionise the way BBC Television programmes are viewed in the UK.
"Significantly, while the BBC iPlayer allows the public to catch up on their favourite mainstream BBC shows, it is also encouraging to see that nearly half of all programmes streamed or downloaded are placed outside the top 50, demonstrating how on demand services can bring niche programming to a wider audience."
From Christmas Day to Monday, January 7, the top ten streamed programmes were: Doctor Who Christmas Special (broadcast December 25); Extras Christmas Special (broadcast December 27); Top Gear (broadcast December 23); The Catherine Tate Christmas Show (broadcast December 25); EastEnders (broadcast December 25); EastEnders (broadcast January 1); Sense and Sensibility (broadcast January 1); Robin Hood (broadcast December 29); EastEnders (broadcast December 31); and The Best of Top Gear (broadcast January 1).
During the period over 1m visitors used iPlayer, far over the original aim of 500,000 by April.
BBC Vision director Jana Bennett said: "It is brilliant to see how audiences have enjoyed BBC programming across all platforms this Christmas. The iPlayer is a wonderful present, offering viewers the opportunity to catch up whenever they want."