Despite Netflix’s monthly £8.99 charge, the streaming service made gains in its average daily share of British viewers last year.
In contrast, the BBC’s on-demand service fell in popularity in 2017, even after it introduced a host of new features in a bid to keep up with its commercial rivals.
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Netflix is now more popular than BBC iPlayer in Britain, new statistics reveal. Popular Netflix original shows such as Stranger Things (pictured) have helped the premium subscription service jump its on-demand rival
In November, Netflix shocked users across the globe when it sent an unexpected email informing them of a 10 per cent price increase for its most popular video streaming plan.
The jump came in on December 1, when Netflix began charging £7.99 ($11 in the US) per month instead of £7.49 ($10 in the US) for a plan that includes HD and allows people to simultaneously watch programs on two different devices.
The price for a plan that includes ultra-high definition, or 4K, video, and allows users to watch simultaneously on four different devices, went up to £9.99 ($14 in the US) from £8.99 ($12 in the US) a month.
A plan that limits subscribers to one screen at a time without high-definition remained at £5.99 ($8 in the US) a month.
The broadcaster offered 40 boxsets over the Christmas period, including popular shows Peaky Blinders, Miranda and both series of Planet Earth and Blue Planet.
It also introduced mandatory sign-in in 2017 to improve iPlayer’s personalisation and programming recommendations.
But the BBC’s efforts failed to boost its share of Britain’s viewing figures, with its average daily cut dropping from 2.07 per cent in 2016 to 1.99 per cent last year.
Netflix saw a boost in its share in 2017, rising to 2.91 per cent up from 2.12 per cent the previous year, according to figures seen by Broadcast.
This means the premium subscription service is watched more on average than iPlayer for the first time.
The figures, from British satellite TV provider Freesat, were pulled from 200,000 connected set-top boxes.
The devices accurately measure when the iPlayer and Netflix apps are loaded, and send the anonymous data back to Freesat.
Freesat marketing director Guy Southam told Broadcast the data suggests Netflix subscribers are more likely to ‘binge-watch’ shows than iPlayer viewers.
Despite Netflix’s monthly £8.99 charge, the streaming service made gains in its average daily share of British viewers last year. Pictured is a still from Netflix original series House of Cards
In contrast, the BBC’s on-demand service fell in popularity in 2017, even after it introduced a host of new features in a bid to keep up with its commercial rivals. The BBC offered all three series of its popular drama Peaky Blinders (pictured) over Christmas
This means they are more inclined to watch multiple episodes in a single session, while viewers of its BBC counterpart rarely watch more than one at a time.
In response to the figures, a BBC spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘It’s been a record-breaking year for BBC iPlayer with demand for programmes up and people spending more time with us as well.
‘This Christmas audiences used BBC iPlayer in their millions, with extra box-sets helping secure its best ever week.
The BBC offered 40 box sets over the Christmas period, including popular shows Wolf Hall (pictured), Miranda and both series of Planet Earth and Blue Planet. It also introduced mandatory sign-in in 2017 to improve iPlayer’s personalisation
‘FreeSat is only one of many ways people access BBC iPlayer – it’s available on over 10,000 devices, including many types of connected TVs, an area we continue to see substantial growth.’
In an attempt to keep up with its competitor over the Christmas period, the BBC placed a raft of box sets and classic episodes on iPlayer last month.
EastEnders fans were able to watch the hit soap’s past Christmas specials, while fans of the hit drama Peaky Blinders were granted access to its first three seasons.
Freesat marketing director Guy Southam told Broadcast the data suggests that Netflix subscribers are more likely to ‘binge-watch’ shows than iPlayer viewers. Pictured is a still from Netflix series The Crown
Other box sets include hit series Taboo, starring Tom Hardy, drama Wolf Hall, series three and four of Sherlock and both series of Happy Valley.
It marked the first time the BBC has made box sets available on iPlayer on such a large scale, and followed the broadcaster signalling that the on-demand service will be at the centre of future broadcasting.
BBC director-general Tony Hall has previously said he wants to ‘reinvent the BBC for a new generation’.
The BBC made series three and four of Sherlock available over Christmas in a bid to compete with its on-demand rivals. It marked the first time the BBC has made box sets available on iPlayer on such a large scale