BroadcastersNewsResearchBBC iPlayer Breaks 4 billion Requests for First Time to Record Best Year Ever

VOD Pro News6 months ago8 min
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:

 

Programme

Episode

Requests

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:

 

Programme

Series

Requests

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:

 

Programme

Episode

Requests

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.

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