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The BBC iPlayer has seen requests drop for the third consecutive month in April.
Total requests to the catch-up streaming service fell from 278 million in March to 271 million in April, although this drop may be greater as the BBC failed to capture around 17 million requests in March due to a technical hitch.
The BBC’s latest monthly report shows that iPlayer figures have repeatedly fallen since the iPlayer peaked with a record 343 million requests in January, before recording 299 million in February. The numbers were still up from April 2014 however, when the service received 260 million requests.
Dan Taylor-Watt, the head of BBC iPlayer, defended the dropping figures in a blog post, writing: “BBC iPlayer usage changes significantly depending on the season with higher volumes of requests in the autumn and winter months, and lower volumes in the spring and summer. Also, as the majority of iPlayer consumption is still catch-up TV, there is a strong link between what’s broadcast on ‘telly’ and programmes requested on iPlayer.”
The BBC has defended the performance of the iPlayer following a series of ‘misleading headlines’. Head of iPlayer Dan Taylor-Watt said the popularity of the BBC’s catch up service was far from on the wane. It follows the publication of March figures that were incorrectly suggested to be the first dip in iPlayer history.
In a blog post Taylor-Watt said iPlayer usage changes significantly depending on the season with higher volumes of requests in the autumn and winter months, and lower volumes in the spring and summer. “Within this, there are also times, for example around the London 2012 Olympics, where specific content or a major event bucks the iPlayer trend – with high levels of usage in the summer months.”
The comments came as the BBC reported 271 million requests to BBC iPlayer in April, up from 268 million in April 2014. TV requests at 218 million were up by 14 million compared to April 2014.
Part of the March ‘problem’ was down to measurement capture issues, It’s thought around 17 million requests were missing from the reported data. Taylor-Watt explained the iPlayer had gone from a single website at launch in 2007 through to today’s 1,700 devices and platforms
Meanwhile BBC’s iPlayer has finally launched on the Nintendo Wii U console. The streaming service was originally scheduled to launch alongside the console back in November 2012.
The BBC iPlayer app is available to download for free from the Nintendo eShop. Users can watch BBC programming through the Wii U console, and also through the GamePad’s second screen.