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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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BBC iPlayer celebrates second birthday with record breaking figures

Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May (image: Todd Antony/BBC)
  • BBC iPlayer celebrates second birthday with record numbers reaching 88.2 million requests
  • Top Gear most watched programme of the year on BBC iPlayer
  • Figures reveal popularity of BBC shows by device
  • New data suggests that people take BBC iPlayer to bed

As BBC iPlayer approaches its second birthday on Christmas Day, new figures released by the BBC reveal 2009 to be the most successful to date, with Top Gear being the most watched programme of the year.

With an average of over five million unique users a week, BBC iPlayer is set to have its best Christmas yet.

New data also provides a fascinating insight into how users of BBC iPlayer, now available on more than 20 different devices, differ per platform. Mac and PS3 users of BBC iPlayer prefer comedy shows such as Mock The Week, while PC and Virgin Media users seem to be more keen on drama, with EastEnders and Waking The Dead proving to be more popular.

In an interesting insight into how people watch BBC iPlayer, new figures also reveal how people love to watch BBC iPlayer on their mobile phones with big peaks in traffic post 9.00pm, and again on Saturday and Sunday morning, suggesting that the nation is snuggling up with their favourite BBC programmes from the warmth and comfort of their own bed.

Erik Huggers, Director of Future Media and Technology, said: "BBC iPlayer has gone from strength to strength this year, with tens of millions of views each month.

"These figures show people are making the most of the choice they now have – whether it's watching EastEnders on your PC during your lunch break, listening to Desert Island Discs on the bus or watching Mock The Week in bed, viewing patterns change depending on the time and location of the audience.

"We'll be looking to increase the availability of the BBC iPlayer on new platforms and devices in coming months and are looking towards more success in 2010."

The BBC schedule is packed with exciting programmes this Christmas, and BBC iPlayer is the best place to catch up on anything you may have missed.

Great films including The Incredibles, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End and the Oscar-winning La Vie En Rose are all going to be available, as is David Tennant's final outing in Doctor Who, the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special and, for the second year running, the Her Majesty The Queen's Christmas message will also be online for BBC iPlayer viewers.

So, no need to worry about burning the turkey or stewing the sprouts as you try to juggle your Christmas dinner plans around the TV schedule. BBC iPlayer makes the unmissable unmissable, thus reducing the probability of any culinary related disasters.

Notes to Editors

BBC iPlayer

Since its launch on Christmas Day 2007, BBC iPlayer has grown to a service receiving more than 80 million requests per month for BBC TV and radio programmes.

The on-demand service from the BBC allows UK audiences to catch up with their favourite BBC content broadcast over the last seven days, at a time that is suitable for them. Audiences have a choice of streaming or downloading their chosen programme and, with series catch-up, selected programmes are made available for the entire season.

First launched on the computer, BBC iPlayer is now available on more than 20 devices, including on TV services, games consoles and mobile phones, providing UK audiences greater access to the wealth of content available from the BBC.

Programme availability differs across the different platforms.

Monthly summary: November 2009:

November 2009 saw yet another step-change upwards in requests for TV and radio programmes on the online BBC iPlayer. In total there were 88.2 million requests, again boosted by a record-breaking 59.6 million for TV programmes and 28.6 million radio requests.

The new series of Top Gear received an outstanding 1.2 million requests for episode one, and Life, BBC Children In Need and Russell Howard's Good News also boosted the overall figures. For radio, football coverage, The Chris Moyles Show and The News Quiz were among most popular titles.

Computer usage still dominates BBC iPlayer use (86% of requests), but the re-launch of BBC iPlayer on Nintendo Wii has seen a rise in requests via this device.

Consistent with previous months:

The profile of BBC iPlayer users is evening out over time in terms of male/female ratio, but remains strongly under-55 in terms of age, which is younger than the typical TV viewer or radio listener's profile.

On-demand makes up the great majority of TV programme requests (in November only 7% of requests were for live simulcast streams), however two-thirds of requests for radio streams are for live programmes, as opposed to on-demand catch-up listening.

BBC iPlayer is used for TV at roughly the same time of day as linear TV viewing, although there is proportionally more daytime and late-peak use. For radio, BBC iPlayer is used far more in daytime than traditional radio listening, which peaks at breakfast-time.

TV Top 20: best-performing episode per title/series, 1 January to 13 December 2009

  Programme Episode Channel Total streams
1 Top Gear: series 13 Ep. 1 BBC Two 1,671,100
2 Top Gear: series 14 Ep. 1 BBC Two 1,299,200
3 Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow Ep. 1 BBC One 1,173,300
4 Gavin And Stacey: series 3 Ep. 1 BBC One 972,700
5 Question Time 22/10/09 BBC One 939,400
6 Life Ep. 1 BBC One 869,000
7 Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead 11/04/09 BBC One 811,800
8 Mock The Week: series 7 Ep. 8 BBC Two 656,500
9 Live At The Apollo: series 4 Ep. 1 BBC One 654,100
10 Horne And Cordon Ep. 1 BBC Three 614,800
11 Waterloo Road: series 5 Ep. 1 BBC One 605,900
12 Being Human Ep. 1 BBC Three 603,300
13 Torchwood: Children Of Earth Ep. 1 BBC One 559,800
14 Merlin: series 2 Ep. 1 BBC One 489,400
15 Russell Howard's Good News Ep. 1 BBC Three 453,400
16 Kirsten's Topless Ambition 28/04/09 BBC Three 453,200
17 Spooks: series 8 Ep. 1 BBC One 449,900
18 Shooting Stars: series 6 Ep. 1 BBC Two 447,000
19 QI: series 6 Ep. 9 BBC One 422,200
20 Robin Hood: series 3 Ep. 13 BBC One 414,100


Audio Top 20: best-performing episode per title/series, 1 January to 13 December 2009

  Programme Episode Channel Total streams
1 Test Match Special 21/08/09 5 Live Sports Extra 183,300
2 I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: series 51 Ep. 1 Radio 4 167,000
3 5 Live Sport: Premier League 2009-10 14/03/09 5 Live 162,700
4 The Chris Moyles Show 06/07/09 Radio 1 129,700
5 Stephen Nolan 07/11/09 5 Live 115,800
6 Jo Whiley 18/09/09 Radio 1 90,700
7 Fry's English Delight: series 2 Ep. 1 Radio 4 86,800
8 Classic Serial: The Complete Smiley Ep. 1 Radio 4 82,200
9 The News Quiz: series 69 Ep. 6 Radio 4 80,700
10 Desert Island Discs 29/11/09 Radio 4 79,900
11 Greg James 08/10/09 Radio 1 78,100
12 The Unbelievable Truth: series 4 Ep. 4 Radio 4 74,200
13 That Mitchell And Webb Sound: series 4 Ep. 2 Radio 4 68,000
14 Act Your Age Ep. 1 Radio 4 66,800
15 Chart Show with Reggie Yates 29/11/09 Radio 1 66,400
16 Ken Bruce 11/05/09 Radio 2 65,800
17 Wimbledon: Men's Semi-Finals 03/07/09 5 Live 65,100
18 606 25/04/09 5 Live 64,900
19 Edith Bowman 10/03/09 Radio 1 64,800
20 The Now Show: series 26 Ep. 1 Radio 4 64,300

Source: iStats/TRP – Requests are combined for both simulcast and on-demand requests per title. Numbers rounded to the nearest 100 due to sampling methodology.

Note, this data is collected via a BBC internal data warehouse (iStats). The methodology adheres to industry standard guidelines as defined by JICWEBs and ABCe, with the exception that the BBC data is based on a 25% sample of users and not 100%. The BBC is working towards 100% sample over the coming months.

BBC iPlayer on Mobile requests by hour:

– BBC iPlayer on Mobile usage peaks in the evenings, between 7.00pm and midnight
– Usage on Friday and Saturday evenings is lower than on other evenings, as BBC iPlayer on Mobile users are likely to be out socialising
– The BBC iPlayer on Mobile sees higher daytime usage at weekends, especially between 7.00am and 10.00am
– This means that overall usage is higher on Sundays, as they benefit from both high daytime usage and high evening usage.

BBC iPlayer on Mobile requests by hour: graph


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