iPlayer streaming beats downloads 8:1

January 16, 2008

Figures released by the BBC show that eight times more people are using the Flash-based streaming iPlayer than the desktop P2P version.

Over one million people watched around 3.5 million iPlayer programmes between Christmas Day and 7 January. The average length of viewing time was 25 minutes.

The windows-only download client attracted only 390,000 users, missing the BBC’s target of 500,000 users within the six months from July.

The five most frequently viewed programmes were EastEnders, Top Gear and the Christmas specials of Extras, Doctor Who and The Catherine Tate Show.

Initially the download version of the iPlayer was only compatible with Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, although a Vista version has recently been launched.

The streaming version of iPlayer was launched for Windows, Macs and Linux in December. Its launch followed pressure from the BBC Trust, and the Government, although according to the BBC, platform-neutral streaming was always part of its strategy.

Recent data from internet traffic research firm, HitWise, supports the latest figures from the BBC. HitWise reported a 14-fold increase in visits to iPlayer following the release of the Mac-compatible, streaming version, and the marketing campaign around the launch.


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