BBC iPlayer chalks up 75m downloads

The online, on-demand TV service saw another month of growth in April, fuelling ISP concerns about overloaded networks

The BBC iPlayer online, on-demand TV service has hit 75 million in streamed or downloaded programmes since it launched last year.

According to BBC figures, iPlayer enjoyed another month of growth in April, with around 21 million programme requests — a 20 percent increase on March.

Average users per week were 1.4 million, up 300,000 on March and almost double January's figure.

The most requested programmes were The Apprentice and Doctor Who. Programmes shown on BBC Three also made a strong showing, with six appearing in the top 20.

There was also evidence of a "long-tail" effect, with around a quarter of total programme consumption made up of programmes outside the top 20.

In terms of platforms, 10 percent of programme requests came from Apple Mac users and three percent from those using the iPhone or iPod Touch.

There was initial criticism of the iPlayer due to it only being available on the Windows XP platform, but the BBC has worked to introduce the service on other platforms, such as Virgin Media.

The iPlayer's popularity has also raised concerns among ISPs, who claim the explosion in online content could overload their networks.