Redesigned BBC iPlayer reveals the biggest show of last year – did YOU watch?

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The BBC has revealed the most popular show to be streamed on BBC iPlayer in 2021. Last year users of the BBC streaming app and service watched over six billion streams, but there was one show that people flocked to more than others. And that show was Line of Duty, which was the biggest BBC iPlayer show of 2021.

The hit cop series created by Jed Mercurio enjoyed a high-profile sixth season run in 2021, where the long-running mystery of who is H was finally solved by AC-12.

The first episode of series six of Line of Duty was the most popular episode of TV on BBC iPlayer in 2021, being streamed 9.2million times.

While Line of Duty was the most popular BBC iPlayer boxset of last year, with all six series being streamed 137million times.

Speaking about the past year the Beeb streaming service enjoyed, Dan McGolpin, director of BBC iPlayer and channels, said: “It’s been an incredible year for BBC iPlayer with a unique mix of programmes driving more viewing than ever before. Line of Duty tops the tables and it’s fantastic to see so many other brand-new drama series also featuring highly alongside those memorable sporting moments from last summer and some of the best documentary series of the year.”

Besides Line of Duty, Vigil – the submarine thriller starring Suranne Jones – and prison drama Time (which stars Sean Bean and Stephen Graham) also featured on the list of most popular TV show episodes shown on BBC iPlayer in 2021.

Elsewhere, the dramatic Euro 2020 final between Italy and England (which saw Gareth Southgate’s men suffer heartbreak in a penalty shootout after a heroic campaign) was another big hitter on BBC iPlayer, as was episodes of The Serpent, Bloodlands and The Pact.

If you haven’t logged into BBC iPlayer for some time, then you may be left surprised by the new look the app boasts.

That’s because towards the end of 2021 the Beeb rolled out a dramatic redesign for the app, to give it a more modern-look which is in keeping with the UIs that services such as Netflix and Prime Video boast.

The redesign, which came after research found users found the previous design “old fashioned”, takes a leaf out of Netflix’s book and moves the menu to the left-hand side of the screen in a vertically-stacked list.

If you move to the left hand side of the screen you can browse different categories like comedy, drama or sport.

Not only is this an easy way to navigate through different content types, but it frees up more space on screen – so viewers are more likely to spot something they want to watch.

The BBC said the iPlayer redesign was all part of effort “to give people a modern BBC that’s easier to use and navigate to find the content they love and enjoy”.



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