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'Doctor Who - The Snowmen' boosts Christmas iPlayer

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The Doctor Who Christmas Day special attracted almost 1.5 million programme requests on BBC iPlayer last month, helping the catch-up TV platform enjoy another record-breaking festive period.

BBC iPlayer launched on Christmas Day in 2007 on the PC, but celebrated its fifth birthday as the number one video on-demand brand that is available on more than 650 devices, including TV, mobile, tabets and games consoles.

Doctor Who - 'The Snowmen': Matt Smith

© BBC / Adrian Rogers



In October, iPlayer attracted 200m requests for TV and radio for the first time in a single month, including a spike in demand on mobile devices.

Christmas is typically a hugely popular time for iPlayer, as people use the platform to catch up on the glut of television content from the BBC.

Doctor Who - The Snowmen was the most popular TV show on iPlayer over Christmas, attracting 1,467,220 requests.

It was followed by the Christmas Day edition of EastEnders, at 1.4m requests, and the first episode of the new series of comedy Miranda, at 1.3m requests.

All the top five TV programmes on iPlayer over Christmas pulled in more than 1m requests, including the Boxing Day EastEnders (1.25m) and the episode on December 27 (1m) taking fourth and fifth place respectively.

EastEnders, Derek is dead, Wed 26 Dec

© BBC



Last year, January 2 was the best day that BBC iPlayer had ever seen, with 5.4m TV programme requests, but that was beaten yesterday (January 1) when there were 6.7m TV requests.

In total, there were 77 million requests for TV and radio programmes throughout the festive period (December 22 - January 1), and that does not even include Virgin Media's cable TV data, which is not yet available.

Dave Price, the head of BBC iPlayer, Programmes and On Demand, BBC Future Media, said in a blog post that there was also a "big spike" in installs of the BBC iPlayer mobile app on tablets and smartphones over Christmas, with the "Nexus 7, iPad and Kindle Fire HD proving popular".

During the whole festive period the iPlayer app was downloaded nearly 1m times, said Price, and there were nearly 300,000 downloads of the app on Christmas Day alone. In the whole of 2012, the iPlayer app was downloaded nearly 13 million times.

BBC iPlayer requests on Christmas Day were up 40% on tablets and 60% on mobiles compared with Christmas Eve. Mobile and tablet viewing increased again on Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

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