BBC iPlayer popularity still rising

Mobile device use has doubled since last year
Darren Allan

May 31, 2012

The BBC has released the statistics for its iPlayer catch-up TV service when it comes to the first quarter of 2012.

And the usage figures are continuing their upward trajectory, with the total requests between January and April averaging nearly 190 million per month. 140 million of those were for TV programmes, and around 46 million for radio. Those figures are up 24 per cent on last year.

Mobile device requests are up strongly, which isn’t surprising given the rise of the smartphone and tablet. In fact, mobile phone and tablet requests almost doubled year-on-year for April, up 94 per cent, with 15 per cent of total requests coming from mobile devices (close to 30 million).

The Beeb noted that Apple had announced the iPlayer app on the iPad as the most downloaded free app ever, on the tablet in the UK.

Smart TVs, blu-ray players and consoles also saw iPlayer growth, up almost 60 per cent year-on-year in April, and bagging around 11 per cent of all requests (meaning mobiles and net connected devices represented a quarter of all viewing between them).

The BBC expects the YouView set-top box, which should be out before the end of the summer, to push iPlayer figures higher. Although given the prevalence of smart TVs and game consoles, the question has been asked whether YouView is now too little, too late. The much delayed service would have been far more relevant if it had launched on time.

Even so, it will make some impact, if only a little.

As for the most popular shows since the beginning of 2012 on the iPlayer? They are The Voice and The Apprentice.


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