Advanced Television

3bn iPlayer requests in 2013

January 29, 2014

The BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service saw a record three billion programme requests in 2013 – up 33 per cent on 2012, with 2.2 billion requests for BBC TV shows and 800 million BBC radio requests across all platforms.

Rapid growth in mobile and tablet viewing continued throughout 2013. By the end of year, the BBC saw:

  • a 104 per cent increase year on year in BBC iPlayer requests from tablets
  • 20 per cent of total TV and radio iPlayer requests in December from tablets
  • downloads of the BBC iPlayer mobile app hitting over 20 million, with 942,000 downloads over the festive period alone

Top BBC iPlayer TV programmes in 2013 included Top Gear, which made up 10 of the top 20 programmes. Doctor Who, Miranda, The Voice UK and Africa also made the rest of the top 20, along with the film Madagascar. The top radio programmes were dominated by live sports coverage, with the Ashes proving hugely popular, constituting 19 of the top 20 shows requested.

2013 ended with a bang for iPlayer with 271 million requests for TV and radio programmes in the month of December – a 25 per cent increase on December 2012. Festive TV specials such as Doctor Who: The Time Of The Doctor, EastEnders and the cult comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys were the most popular programmes throughout the month. Other top performing programmes were Call The Midwife, the TV adaptation of David Walliams’ children’s book Gangsta Granny, Still Open All Hours, as well as CBBC’s The Dumping Ground.

Even with audiences finding new ways to watch programmes on iPlayer, PCs remained the biggest single platform for requests in 2013, constituting an average of 43 per cent of requests each month. That said, with people away from their desks over the Christmas period, December did see mobile and tablet requests overtake PC requests for the first time in iPlayer’s history.

Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content for BBC iPlayer, says: “2013 has been a fantastic year for iPlayer. We’ve begun the journey to transform iPlayer from a TV catch-up service into an online TV destination in its own right with the introduction of iPlayer exclusive content and programme premiering. We’re delighted by the audience response to both. As we move into 2014, we will originate more exclusive programmes for iPlayer, as well as offer an ambitious range of content to complement our biggest brands and events.”

Dan Taylor, Head of BBC iPlayer for BBC Future Media, says: “With 3 billion programme requests across over 1,000 devices, 2013 was another record-breaking year for BBC iPlayer. We’re delighted that iPlayer is enabling more and more people to enjoy the fantastic shows we create when and where they want.”

Categories: Articles, Catch Up, Consumer Behaviour, OTT, OTT, Research, VOD