BBC has announced another record-breaking feat for its iPlayer catch-up service, with the streamer ending 2019 with an “all-time record high” of 4.4 billion requests.
December in particular was the service’s best month of all time and achieved 447 million requests in total.
The debut episode of gangster drama Peaky Blinders’ fifth series was the most popular individual episode of the year, attracting just shy of 6 million requests. This was followed closely by Line of Duty’s return which drew 5.9 million requests for its own series five premiere.
However, it was Phoebe Waller-Bridge-created spy thriller Killing Eve that made up seven of the 10 spots for individual episodes. The show’s second season, as previously reported, was the most popular show, recording almost 41 million requests – more than 10 million ahead of Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice in second and third place respectively.
The second series of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s other show, Fleabag, was the highest-charting comedy in seventh place with 21.1 million requests.
Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, said: “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.”
The revealed figures come as the BBC prepares a total overhaul of the iPlayer service in light of Ofcom’s decision that the BBC can extend the window under which it makes most of its programmes available from 30 days to one year.
The pubcaster said in October that it is designing a fully redesigned “cutting-edge on-demand platform” that will alter the look, feel and functionality of the streamer in order to combat competition from the likes of Netflix.
The relaunch – the fourth redesign in 12 years – does not have a set date, but the BBC did say it would launch at some time in 2020.
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