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April 2011 BBC iPlayer performance pack

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 12:29 UK time, Friday, 20 May 2011

It's time for the latest in the series of monthly BBC iPlayer performance packs.

The PDF is available as a download here.

Some highlights selected by the Communications Team:

• In April, BBC iPlayer received 141 million total requests for TV and radio programmes across all platforms and devices.

• The new series of Doctor Who delivered the most-requested programme this month, with Russell Howard's Good News also returning strongly. New drama was also prominent, with The Crimson Petal and Candy Cabs alongside Waterloo Road and Waking The Dead. The main section of Royal Wedding coverage appears in the list, although in total the whole event delivered more than a million requests via BBC iPlayer.

• For radio, World Cup Cricket continued to attract the most requests, along with football, and Radio 1, 2 and 4 programmes on catch-up.

• Live TV viewing via BBC iPlayer made up 14% of all TV requests in April, while live radio listening dropped back slightly to 73%, following the peak in March (which was boosted by Comic Relief and cricket coverage).

Nick Reynolds is Social Media Executive, BBC Online



  • Comment number 1.

    Hi, thanks for the update. As news about Doctor Who's episode 1 timeshift audience came out today as well (Official + iPlayer=over 10m), any chance of seeing the legendary "live+7" stats...at all...any time soon?


  • Comment number 2.

    Thanks for the info, any chance there can be a website where the live +7 figures are published so we can have a look ourselves and browse and check out other shows that wouldn't normally be covered in the press?
    The whole coverage about Doctor Who losing viewers was very annoying because it was based on an outdated system and would love to just go straight to the facts to dispel myths.
    Thanks :)

  • Comment number 3.

    Still no news on either a BBC sport iPhone app or a HTML 5 compatible video player on BBC sports website?

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm sorry, what is a 'performance pack'?

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Joe K - it's a summary of information and statistics about how BBC iPlayer has performed in the relevant month.

    If you read the pack which you can do by clicking on the link in the blog post, you will get the idea.


  • Comment number 6.

    I want to ensure that the BBC's Communications Team is aware of one of the most important issues concerning iPlayer performance.

    I am consistently unable to use the iPlayer because my internet connection is so poor.

    The BBC must now urgently participate in subsidising the much needed investment in Britain's broadband infrastructure, through the licence fee tax. After years of consideration and discussion, I am certain that this should be the BBC’s responsibility, and the case for this is very clear. I request that the BBC stops wasting millions of pounds on its bloated online operation and infamous spurious initiatives, and instead spend the money where it is needed.

    I pay the same licence fee as everybody else, but not everybody receives the same service.

    Here's a screenshot showing a typical problem for millions of users like me:

    As well as the ISPs concerned I am in contact with Ofcom and also with my local MP and other officials in local and national government.

    I am actively lobbying and commentating about this online, tweeting to my hundreds of followers, etc -- for instance in this article on my blog:

    We urgently need reliable usable internet connections here in Braughing in East Herts. Although I live in a more rural area, postcode [Personal details removed by Moderator], I am located in the heart of London’s commuter belt, within 8 miles of major towns, in fact not much more than 30 miles from the proposed new London Tech City.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Tim - I think we are starting to drift off topic. This is not a general post on BBC iPlayer, nor is it about broadband infrastructure.


  • Comment number 8.

    How come there was such a significant downturn in requests? The hot weather can't be responsible for such a downturn which have not seen at previous hot weather periods. the wedding would have contributed a large upswing...but we don't see it countering the monthly downswing.

    How come there is little analysis? When the figures inexplicably step up we get nothing but whooping and self congratulation... now... quiet.

    Has there been any modification /upgrade to the iPlayer software in the month of April?

    Where is the March pack? Why can't they be kept in one place, or at least published consistently by the same blogger?

  • Comment number 9.

    @Nick Thanks for your reply. I'll try harder to put it into context. I would like to see service problems included in your stats.

    "In April, BBC iPlayer received 141 million total requests for TV and radio programmes across all platforms and devices."

    That's impressive, well done! However, a proportion of those requests were made by me and users like me. How many of those requests resulted in a poor experience? How much time do users spend sitting waiting indefinitely for the video to buffer?

    I hope the BBC would want to know about issues like this. It seems pertinent in the context of your performance pack.

    Half the country is being excluded from BBC services and the digital revolution in general. They're easy to ignore in forums like this one, they're not very vocal. I've come in to London today to use the Internet to post this comment. Thank you for reading it.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Tim,

    I have asked the same of Nick. The iPlayer upgrade in November resulted in a lot of reports of stalled streams and users re-loading the stream to kick start the programme. These multiple requests for many users would show up in the above stats as "impressive increase in popularity of the iPlayer" yet no-one could tell me how many streams were watched in their entirety, rather than a few seconds, only to be reloaded.

    That is why I ask whether an upgrade was implimented to cure the bug, and hence the stats. revert to the lower, true figure for requests.

  • Comment number 11.

    test on stage

  • Comment number 12.

    testing on staging

  • Comment number 13.

    final release candidate


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