BBC iPlayer is already looking dominant in the UK download market. Traffic for ITV’s broadband TV service has remained flat over the past two months, while the BBC’s rival iPlayer offering has seen massive growth following a major marketing push.
ITV.com’s video traffic hit a peak in November but has dropped off slightly since then. The simulcast and catch-up TV service, which officially launched in August, attracted around 2m views of full-length TV shows and clips in January, according to ITV’s own figures. This is a fall of around 200,000 video views from the November peak. Full-length TV shows accounted for only around 40% – or 1m – of the total number of video views last month.
This compares with the BBC’s iPlayer service which recorded 11m programmes streamed or downloaded in January.
The figures for December put ITV ahead of Channel 4’s 4oD, which recorded 7.45m videos viewed, but fell far behind the 37.9m video streams that comScore recorded across all of the BBC’s websites for the same month.
The BBC launched a major marketing offensive, featuring big names and using the strapline “Making the unmissable unmissable”. In addition, the BBC iPlayer has benefited hugely from the fact that bbc.co.uk is already a massively popular online destination. Prior to the launch of the media player it had around 15 million monthly unique users, while ITV.com claims around 6 million. The BBC also has a hefty five-year budget of £131m (E175m) to develop the iPlayer, while ITV has spent just £20m on its media player and other online video initiatives.