The highly-anticipated second series of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s gripping spy thriller Killing Eve has taken out the competition to become BBC iPlayer’s biggest series of the year*.
The Golden Globe-nominated continuing battle between Eve and Villanelle achieved a staggering 40.4m requests on iPlayer, over 10m requests more than the next closest series.
Police thriller Line Of Duty’s fifth series took the second spot, with 27.4m requests, with period crime drama Peaky Blinders’ fifth series just behind it on 26.6m. Killing Eve’s first series also makes the top ten as people revisited the show or decided to find out what all the fuss was about, with 22.3m requests in 2019. Going back to 2018, the two series of Killing Eve combined have now generated a staggering 105m requests in total.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s other hit show this year, Fleabag, also features in the top ten. The second and final series is iPlayer’s biggest comedy of the year, with 20.3m requests for the series.
Other shows to make the top ten include favourites like Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice and MasterChef, as well as tense new drama The Capture, which was the year’s biggest new show.
There were also plenty of unmissable sporting and music events this year – the Wimbledon men’s singles final is the top live episode, with 1.6 million live stream requests, and Stormzy’s iconic Glastonbury headline set delivered 1.3m requests across both live and on-demand streams. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 was another big success on iPlayer with 8.7m requests across the competition.
BBC iPlayer has also been proving increasingly popular with younger viewers. 2019 has seen almost a quarter (24%) of under 35-year olds visiting iPlayer in an average week, with titles like RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, The Rap Game and Waterloo Road proving particularly popular with younger audiences.
November marked the biggest ever month for iPlayer, with 439m requests. New fantasy drama His Dark Materials and landmark natural history series Seven Worlds, One Planet were the month’s biggest programmes, plus there were strong performances from Gold Digger, The Apprentice, and The War Of The Worlds.
Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, BBC, says: “It’s been a huge year for BBC iPlayer – as well as record-breaking figures, it’s become an entertainment destination in its own right; and with approval for new programmes to be available for a minimum of 12 months, this will deliver real value for licence fee payers. In 2020 we will go even further to make it the best watch ever from binge-worthy series to the biggest live TV moments.”
Dan McGolpin, Controller of iPlayer for the BBC, says: “This year we’ve seen some of television’s most exciting shows return to BBC iPlayer, from Killing Eve to Line Of Duty and from Peaky Blinders to Fleabag, the number of programme requests we’ve received has been incredible. What’s also really satisfying is that brand new series such as The Capture, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, His Dark Materials and Seven Worlds, One Planet have also generated large audiences. Together with our live event coverage, this year including Glastonbury, the Women’s World Cup and the General Election 2019, BBC iPlayer is a unique service that is going to get even bigger and better in 2020.”