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24 September 2014
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David Tennant and Kylie Minogue in the Doctor Who Christmas special

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More than 3.5 million programmes accessed via BBC iPlayer in first fortnight

Over a million visitors to BBC iPlayer website following Christmas Day marketing launch


Over 3.5 million programmes have been streamed or downloaded on demand via the BBC iPlayer within a fortnight of its marketing launch on Christmas Day.


The programmes were streamed or downloaded on demand between Tuesday 25 December and Monday 7 January by over a million visitors to, where members of the public are able to choose from some 250 BBC programmes from the previous seven days.


The BBC research reveals that an average of a quarter of a million programmes have been downloaded or streamed each day since 25 December.


Users, on average, watch each streamed programme for just under 25 minutes, while the number of users choosing to stream content currently outnumbers downloading by a factor of eight to one.


Whilst the top ten most popular programmes account for just under a quarter of all those consumed via the BBC iPlayer, programmes that are ranked outside the top 50 actually make up almost half of the total consumption.


The BBC favourites that made up the top five most frequently streamed programmes are the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC One), Extras Christmas Special (BBC Two), Top Gear (BBC Two), The Catherine Tate Christmas Show (BBC One) and the Christmas Day edition of EastEnders (BBC One).


The BBC research also suggests a significant "long tail" effect, with the BBC Four series Dance Britannia, a history of the evolution of dance, the documentary Factory: Manchester From Joy Division To Happy Mondays (BBC Four) and BBC Three's The Real Hustle all appearing in the top 100 most streamed programmes.


Ashley Highfield, Director of BBC Future Media and Technology, comments: "We are delighted with the public's response to the BBC iPlayer.


"Attracting a million visitors, who've accessed over three and a half million programmes, within just two weeks is a wonderful start.


"Typically, people who use the BBC iPlayer are spending nearly half an hour a day watching streams of their favourite programmes, suggesting that it looks set to revolutionise the way BBC Television programmes are viewed in the UK.


"Significantly, while the BBC iPlayer allows the public to catch up on their favourite mainstream BBC shows, it is also encouraging to see that nearly half of all programmes streamed or downloaded are placed outside the top 50, demonstrating how on demand services can bring niche programming to a wider audience."


Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision, comments: "It is brilliant to see how audiences have enjoyed BBC programming across all platforms this Christmas.


"The BBC iPlayer is a wonderful present, offering viewers the opportunity to catch up whenever they want."


Notes to Editors


Top ten BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer as ranked by total number of streams per episode between 25 December 2007 and 7 January 2008 (with original transmission date in brackets).


1. Doctor Who Christmas Special (25.12.07)

2. Extras Christmas Special (27.12.07)

3. Top Gear (23.12.07)

4. The Catherine Tate Christmas Show (25.12.07)

5. EastEnders (25.12.07)

6. EastEnders (01.01.08)

7. Sense And Sensibility (01.01.08)

8. Robin Hood (29.12.08)

9. EastEnders (31.12.07)

10. The Best Of Top Gear (01.01.08)


In October 2007, Ashley Highfield reiterated that the BBC aimed to bring 500,000 users to BBC iPlayer by the end of April 2008. Between 25 December 2007 and 7 January 2008, there have been over one million visitors. Since streaming was introduced on 12 December 2007, and the service came out of "Beta" with its main marketing launch commencing on Christmas Day, there has been a tenfold increase in the number of visitors to the BBC iPlayer website.


BBC iPlayer offers users the opportunity to either stream or download BBC programming on demand. Streaming allows users to view programmes from the previous seven days instantly, while those who download can keep the programmes for up to 30 days. Figures for average duration of each stream are calculated from the beginning of the stream to the end of the stream, and do not include time otherwise spent on the BBC iPlayer site.


The BBC RadioPlayer has now been rebranded as the audio component of BBC iPlayer, though figures quoted do not yet include audio streams.






Category: New Media
Date: 15.01.2008
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