Home & Office

Tablets, internet TVs push BBC iPlayer to almost 2 billion views

Viewers discovering new ways of watching the box...
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor on

Viewers discovering new ways of watching the box...

Sales of tablets and internet-connected televisions helped push the number of radio and TV shows streamed using BBC's iPlayer close to two billion during 2011.

While computers still accounted for two-thirds of the 1.94 billion streams sent during the year, the BBC today revealed that the fastest growing platforms for iPlayer were tablets and internet-connected TVs.

In December the number of iPlayer streams to internet-connected TVs hit seven million, and the number of programmes streamed to tablets hit 10 million.

The figures back up a survey by telecoms regulator Ofcom last year that found that sales of new classes of internet-connected devices were on the rise, with nine per cent of UK consumers owning tablets and four per cent of Brits using internet-connected TVs.

Apple iPhone 4S

Mobile was the third fastest growing platform for iPlayer in 2011Photo: Apple

Meanwhile streams of programmes to mobile phones leapt 163 per cent year-on-year in December, growing to 13 million, with mobile being the third fastest growing platform for iPlayer in 2011. The iPlayer app for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch was only released in December last year, some time after the version for iPad and Android became available.

Weekly demand for iPlayer programmes was highest between Boxing Day and 2 January, thanks in part to requests from mobile phones and tablets given as presents, with 29.7 million programmes delivered during the period.

Overall during December there was a 29 per cent year-on-year increase in the total number of iPlayer streams, as it served 187 million monthly requests across all platforms.

Daniel Danker, general manager for programmes and on demand at the BBC, said in a statement: "While 2011 was a remarkable year for BBC iPlayer across the board, the real story was growth of iPlayer on TVs, mobile phones, and tablets, outpacing PC growth many times over.

"We see huge potential for BBC iPlayer on the living room set in 2012 - the natural home for great TV - as audiences switch on to the benefits of connected TV."

Editorial standards