BBC iPlayer claims strong viewership for 2012

MUMBAI: BBC has announced that its on-demand service BBC iPlayer saw 2.32 billion TV and radio programme requests and 36.5 billion minutes of BBC programmes enjoyed across all platforms in iPlayer last year.

Audiences spent 34 per cent more time watching TV in iPlayer than ever before. Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening Ceremony topped iPlayer viewing in 2012 with 3.3 million requests, followed by Top Gear with 2.8 million and Sherlock with 2.5 million requests.

The biggest trend in 2012 was the huge growth in iPlayer requests from mobiles and tablets. By the end of last year, the BBC saw:

  • a 177 per cent increase year on year of requests from mobiles and tablets – making up over a quarter of total iPlayer requests
  • nearly 14 million downloads of the iPlayer mobile app, with 300,000 downloads on Christmas Day to devices such as the Nexus 7, iPad and Kindle Fire HD
  • 10.8 million BBC TV programmes downloaded to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, following the launch of mobile downloads in September 2012. Downloaded programmes already make up 6% of TV viewing on mobiles and tablets

Other 2012 trends showed that for the first time in iPlayer’s history, requests from PCs comprised less than half of all total iPlayer requests (47 per cent) in December 2012 alone. Live Restart - a new feature allowing viewers to rewind and restart live TV without waiting for the programme to end - was used by up to 30 per cent of those watching live TV online.

Mobile downloads made the daily commute less tiresome, with the majority of viewers downloading programmes at 10 pm and watching them on the way to and from work at 7.30 am and 5.30 pm. Finally, the launch of iPlayer on Xbox and Sky now means more UK households than ever can enjoy watching BBC iPlayer on their living room TV.

Top iPlayer programmes in 2012 included ‘Top Gear’, which made up eight of the top 20 programmes. The London 2012 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, ’Sherlock’, ‘The Apprentice’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘The Voice UK’ and BBC One’s new comedy ‘Citizen Khan’ all made up the rest of the iPlayer top 20. The top three radio programmes on iPlayer in 2012 were Jay-Z live at Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, Wallace and Gromit at the Proms and Rihanna live at Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend.

December continued to be the most popular month for iPlayer, with a record 217 million requests for TV and radio programmes - a 23 per cent increase over 2011. Festive TV specials such as ‘Doctor Who - The Snowmen’, ‘EastEnders’ and ‘Miranda’ were the most popular programmes throughout the month. Other top performing programmes were ‘Outnumbered’, ‘Call The Midwife’ and ‘Merlin’.

2013 has already had a strong start, with 6,732 million requests for TV programmes on January 1 alone, the most requests ever seen in 24 hours.

BBC programmes on-demand general manager Daniel Danker said: “2012 was a ground-breaking year for BBC iPlayer with a record 2.32 billion requests for programmes across over 650 platforms. Last year, the use of iPlayer shifted from PCs and early adopter devices like game consoles to screens used by all audiences. Mobile, tablet, and connected TV skyrocketed, with a particular emphasis on audiences taking iPlayer on the go. This year, we’re looking forward to turning iPlayer into an entertainment destination, with a relentless focus on making iPlayer as easy and enjoyable as television.”

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