BBC iPlayer breaks 4 billion requests for first time to record best year ever

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NEWS PROVIDED BY
BBC One

BBC iPlayer has broken 4 billion requests to stream programmes for the first time ever, ending the year with an all-time record high of 4.4 billion requests.
The 2019 performance is up around 12 per cent on the previous year.*

December was BBC iPlayer’s best month of all time, achieving a record-high 447 million requests in total. The top episode of the month was the returning Christmas special of Gavin and Stacey, which recorded an enormous 4.3 million requests in the final six days of the year - and to date has achieved a massive 5.2 million requests.

The second most popular episode of the month was EastEnders’ Christmas day episode, with 2.1 million requests - the show’s most popular episode to date. Fantasy drama His Dark Materials was another strong performer, with three episodes in the top ten, as was Call The Midwife, The Apprentice and new Stephen Knight drama A Christmas Carol.

The top iPlayer episodes in December are:

  1. Gavin & Stacey
    Christmas Special 2019
    4,298,000

  2. EastEnders
    25.12.2019
    2,136,000

  3. The Apprentice
    s15: Perfume
    1,882,000

  4. His Dark Materials
    The Lost Boy
    1,809,000

  5. The Apprentice
    s15: Interviews
    1,782,000

  6. Election 2019
    Part one
    1,716,000

  7. Call The Midwife
    Christmas Special 2019
    1,681,000

  8. His Dark Materials
    The Daemon Cages
    1,591,000

  9. His Dark Materials
    The Fight to the Death
    1,577,000

  10. A Christmas Carol
    e1
    1,563,000


Across 2019 as a whole, the return of Eve and Villanelle’s thrilling game of cat and mouse in the second series of Killing Eve was the biggest show, recording almost 41 million requests, over 10 million requests ahead of any other programme. Killing Eve’s first series also made the top ten, with just under 23 million requests in 2019.

Other returning dramas to crack the top ten include the fifth series of Peaky Blinders and the fifth series of Line Of Duty, both with over 27 million requests, along with the 22nd series of forensic drama Silent Witness, which saw 18 million requests. The Capture was the year’s most successful new show on iPlayer, with 20 million requests for the first series.

The hilarious and heartfelt final series of Fleabag was the year’s most popular comedy, recording 21 million requests for series two. Fan favourite shows Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice and MasterChef rounded out the rest of the top ten, continuing to prove popular with iPlayer viewers.

The top ten series on iPlayer in 2019** were:

  1. Killing Eve
    s2
    40,956,000

  2. Strictly Come Dancing
    s17
    30,161,000

  3. The Apprentice
    s15
    28,940,000

  4. Peaky Blinders
    s5
    27,661,000

  5. Line Of Duty
    s5
    27,395,000

  6. Killing Eve
    s1
    22,847,000

  7. Fleabag
    s2
    21,075,000

  8. The Capture
    20,018,000

  9. MasterChef
    s15
    19,035,000

  10. Silent Witness
    s22
    18,254,000


The first episode of Peaky Blinders’ fifth series, which saw Tommy Shelby enter parliament for the first time, was the best single episode of the year, with just under 6 million requests. It narrowly edged out Line of Duty’s return with just under 5.9 million requests, which saw Stephen Graham join the cast as the guest series lead. The majority of the rest of the top ten is made up of Killing Eve, taking seven of the top ten episodes of the year in all.

The top ten iPlayer episodes for 2019 are:

  1. Peaky Blinders
    Black Tuesday
    5,969,000

  2. Line Of Duty
    s5 e1
    5,884,000

  3. Killing Eve
    Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body?
    5,597,000

  4. Killing Eve
    Desperate Times
    5,383,000

  5. Killing Eve
    The Hungry Caterpillar
    5,212,000

  6. Killing Eve
    Smell Ya Later
    5,202,000

  7. Killing Eve
    Nice and Neat
    4,947,000

  8. Peaky Blinders
    Black Cats
    4,938,000

  9. Killing Eve
    I Hope You Like Missionary!
    4,935,000

  10. Killing Eve
    Wide Awake
    4,902,000


The New Year also got off with a bang, as iPlayer recorded its best day ever on New Year’s Day, with 19 million requests. And the first week of the year immediately broke the record set by Christmas week to become BBC iPlayer’s biggest week, with 119 million requests, driven by popular new shows like Dracula and The Trail of Christine Keeler, as well as returning series like Doctor Who and Silent Witness.

Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, says: “2019 was the best year ever for BBC iPlayer with audiences enjoying a fantastic range of programmes from hotly-anticipated returners such as Killing Eve and Gavin & Stacey to brand new series such as The Capture and His Dark Materials. More and more viewers are finding that BBC iPlayer offers them a total TV experience, bringing the nation together for big live events such as the Strictly final and providing everyone with brilliant boxsets like Fleabag that they can binge on whenever they want to.”

*A measurement change introduced in February 2019 has improved the accuracy of request figures for BBC iPlayer

** Continuing series (EastEnders, Breakfast, Holby City etc) have been excluded from this analysis for fair comparison, but remain hugely popular on iPlayer; children’s titles are also not included.

Source BBC One

January 30, 2020 6:20am ET by BBC One  

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