BBC’s iPlayer breaks records as Olympic coverage helps drive 196 million requests

BBC’s iPlayer breaks records as Olympic coverage helps drive 196 million requests

The BBC has released its iPlayer performance stats for June to August 2012 and it’s hardly surprising that the broadcaster has seen a big bump in requests over the period where a so many of us tuned in online to catch Olympic coverage.

The BBC iPlayer saw record-breaking figures in August during the Games with a new total of 196 million requests. The corporation had its highest ever requests per week at 51 million and highest users per week at 11.5 million which happened at the end of July.

The BBC’s investment in streaming across screens for the major event paid off. It saw its highest ever number of requests for mobile and tablet devices in August at 22 million and 17 million respectively.

In the chart below a clear increase in mobile viewer numbers can be seen. For reference, Internet TV/connected devices in this case means set-top boxes and services like FreeView. The BBC Says that ‘the step-change in mobile/tablet requests in February was partly due to a measurement problem being fixed’.

The thirst for Games coverage also fueled the BBCs’s highest ever proportion of live TV requests during August at 32%. The record for the iPlayer had previously been set just a month before for the Wimbledon 2012 Men’s Final.

The graph below shows some strong performance stats for the iPlayer since its launch in 2009.

The opening and closing ceremonies are the highlights that viewers seem to love best when it comes to Olympic coverage. There were 3.9 million requests for the Opening Ceremony and 2.1 million requests for the Closing ceremony. That’s enough to make most servers start sweating.

But the iPlayer’s success stories over the Summer was not just down to massive sporting events. Top programs included Accused, Bad Education, Citizen Khan and Parade’s End in August and for radio, Test Match Special and BBC 5 Live’s Olympics coverage topped the most-requested programmes chart.

As the national broadcaster gained rights to cover the Olympics so comprehensively, it makes sense that the effort put into bringing that footage to the Web reaps rewards. Though it has been said that there were difficulties accessing thousands of hours of footage on demand, the live streaming has paid off and the figures for iPlayer this year certainly show the effort was worth it.

Image Credit: Tim Loudon

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