The BBC iPlayer has surpassed 4 billion requests to stream in a calendar year for the first time.
The streaming service recorded 4.4 billion requests in 2019, an increase of 12% 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 4.3 million requests in the final six days of the year – and to date has achieved a 5.2 million requests.
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 and Stacey to brand new series such as The Capture and His Dark Materials”.
Across 2019 as a whole, the return of Eve and Villanelle’s game of cat and mouse in the second series of Killing Eve was the biggest show, recording almost 41 million requests, over 10 million more than for any other programme. The show has the advantage of a Netflix-style drop, when also the episodes are made available simultaneously, immediately after the first show has been transmitted.
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. The Capture was the year’s most successful new show on iPlayer, with 20 million requests for the first series.