Some interesting mobile iPlayer statistics came out of the BBC yesterday, revealing that the corporation streamed 5.3 million programmes to iOS-enabled devices and just 6,400 to Android devices via its video-on-demand service.
The information was released after a Freedom of Information request was submitted to the BBC, to “understand the take-up of iPlayer Flash streaming for Android 2.2 phones in July.”
Currently, the only (edit: official) way that Android users can view BBC iPlayer content is by visiting the iPlayer website and invoking the built-in Flash Player functionality to display the content. Given that Flash support is only available to users with Android 2.2, the ability to watch shows has only been available to Android users for less than a month on most devices.
The Android Market used to have an unofficial BBC iPlayer app, this no longer worked when the BBC changed the way it streamed its programmes. [Our readers have pointed out that there is a new app called Myplayer that will allow iPlayer access on Android phones]
For owners of the Apple iPhone or iPod Touch, the corporation built a specific iPhone portal nearly two years ago that would specifically format shows for iOS devices (remember, iOS devices will never officially support Flash). Non-2.2 Android devices should be able to access the same HTML5 streams that are available for iOS devices but the BBC blocked access to them because of “content protection considerations” that restrict delivery via HTTP.
The Guardian quite rightly points out that an iPlayer app could be on its way to older versions of Android, especially after the BBC Trust approved the development of official apps last month.
The streaming statistics were as follows:
- In July 2010, 1,026 hours of programming were streamed from the BBC iPlayer to Android
- In July 2010 6,400 programmes were streamed from the BBC iPlayer to Android devices.
- For complete weeks since 23 June, the average weekly number of Android device users accessing
programmes from the BBC iPlayer was 1,106, peaking at 1,896 in the week commencing 26 July
- In July 2010 there were 5,272,464 programmes requested via the BBC iPlayer from Apple iPhone,
iPod Touch and iPad devices.
- In July 2010 there was an average of 230,016 Apple mobile devices users accessing programmes via
the BBC iPlayer each week, peaking at 248,700 in the week commencing 26 July 2010.
Android users need not be too disheartened, Android 2.2 (Froyo) updates are gradually making their way to handsets, increasing the amount of people that will be able to view programmes without the need for a specific app. That said, an iPlayer app is thought to be in development, giving all Android handset owners the ability to catch-up on their favourite BBC content.