'Dracula' and 'Doctor Who' power BBC iPlayer to break its streaming record

Claes Bang as Dracula (Credit: BBC)
Claes Bang as Dracula (Credit: BBC)

New Year's Day was the busiest day in the history of iPlayer, the BBC has revealed.

Download numbers hit record highs thanks to a raft of high profile shows, including Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat's remake of Dracula, and Doctor Who.

The service received 17.9 million requests to stream or download, which was more than a third up on the same day last year.

Read more: The Sherlock and Doctor Who easter eggs in Dracula

Both Gatiss and Moffat's new take on Bram Stoker's classic, starring Claes Bang as Dracula, and the first episode in the new series of Doctor Who propelled the BBC's streaming service to the record, which came only days after the previous record was set, on Boxing Day.

Gavin & Stacey (Credit: BBC)
Gavin & Stacey (Credit: BBC)

Over the festive fortnight, iPlayer recorded 203 million streams and downloads from December 20 to January 2.

The comeback episode of comedy series Gavin & Stacey was a huge draw, pulling in a massive 13 million viewers.

However, it was beaten to the top spot by the Christmas Day episode of EastEnders, which scored 15.58 million stream requests.

Read more: Karen Gillan wants to ‘re-do’ her Doctor Who role

Dan McGolpin, the controller of iPlayer and programming at the BBC, said: “It was a cracking Christmas for BBC iPlayer with more people than ever enjoying a huge range of great shows.

“The Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special was the icing on the cake, generating a ground-breaking number of requests, plus fan favourites like EastEnders and Call The Midwife and new series His Dark Materials and A Christmas Carol also top performers.

“2019 was iPlayer’s best ever year and 2020 got off to the perfect start with the New Year’s Day Doctor Who and Dracula both helping to deliver the highest number of requests in a single day.

“Millions of people are enjoying iPlayer’s expanded box-set offer and new series being made available for longer.”