BBC iPlayer sees another record-breaking month as programme requests pass 200m for the first time

BBC iPlayer sees another record-breaking month as programme requests pass 200m for the first time

The BBC has reported another record-breaking month for iPlayer in October, with the TV and radio streaming service sailing past 200 million programme requests in a single month for the first time ever.

But it didn’t just break the milestone figure, it smashed it – 213 million request were made last month, up by almost 15 million on the previous month. Indeed, September also saw a record-breaking month for iPlayer, boosted significantly by radio, with just under 200 million programme requests made in total.

Compared to the previous September (2011), which saw 153 million total requests made, this represented a third increase in a 12 month period. And with these latest figures, iPlayer’s showing no signs of slowing.

Digging in

While there was growth across all device types – mobile, tablet, TV and computer – it’s the mobile/tablet element that’s perhaps most notable, contributing nearly a quarter (23%) of all requests, and connected TV devices now constituting 20%. Indeed, while PCs accounted for around half of requests in October, Internet-connected TVs saw a 25% rise on September.

As for the split between live TV and catch-up, it seems iPlayer returned to normal levels as per the pre-Olympic Games. On TV, around 1 in 8 requests were live, whereas on radio the reverse is true – more than three quarters of requests were simulcast.

Back in early October, we reported on the BBC’s new iPlayer Radio app, which launched initially for the Web and was swiftly followed up by the iOS version which hit the App Store later that day. You can read our full review here. We expected to see a rise in radio requests as a direct result of this new standalone radio app, but it seems this has fallen by one million on the last month, from 50 million to 49 million total requests made. But it’s worth noting here that September was the biggest ever month for iPlayer radio, up from 46 million on August, so it’ll be worth looking at the broader trend here over several months.

It’s also worth noting that iPlayer finally landed on Sky+ last month, in addition to its existing Virgin Media offering, so we can perhaps expect to see November’s numbers – particularly relating to Internet-connected TVs – continue on an upwards trajectory. “We see internet-connected TVs as the platform of the future,” says Dave Price, head of BBC iPlayer.

All the figures above apply to both on-demand and live broadcasts, and cover the UK only. You can read the report in full here.

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