Blog Post

BBC iPlayer Usage Doubles in 2009

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

The British Broadcasting Corporation’s online video iPlayer continues to set records for viewership, essentially doubling its audience over the course of the past year. The BBC reported that iPlayer viewership increased to 120.3 million requests in January 2010, from 61.5 million requests in January 2009.

That increase was driven in part by increased viewership across mobile devices and other platforms. Game consoles made up 12 percent of all viewer requests, with the Sony (s SNE) PlayStation contributing eight percent and the Nintendo (s NTDOY) Wii adding another four percent. In addition, Virgin Media’s implementation of the iPlayer accounts for about 20 million views, or about 20 percent of requests in January.

The broadcaster has had difficulty accounting for iPlayer requests on the iPhone and iPod Touch, so not all views are counted on connected devices. And with the rollout of the iPlayer on TVs from Samsung and Freeview set-top boxes, the number of non-PC views will only grow.

Interestingly, iPlayer viewing follows same general trends as usual BBC viewing. iPlayer requests hit their peak at 8:00 pm, about an hour before prime time TV viewing, at 9:00 pm. That compares to general Internet traffic, which peaks around 5:00 pm just as people are leaving work.

Related NewTeeVee content: Watching the iPlayer Around The World: BBC, Meet VPN

Related GigaOM Pro content: Connected Consumer Tuned In to TVs in Q4 (subscription required)

5 Responses to “BBC iPlayer Usage Doubles in 2009”

  1. What do they mean as requests?
    – Any requisition no matter how long the video has been watched?
    – Completely transferred video?
    – Watched video only?

    That’s a very important concept to be cleared before say they’re good numbers.

    • Ryan Lawler

      The BBC counts requests as streams that have started in the player. Doesn’t have to be watched to conclusion, but a request only counts if the stream has actually started playing.