The BBC has released its most detailed stats on the use of its online catch-up TV service. It comes as the BBC iPlayer clocked up a total of 79.3 million requests in October, its best month since launch in 2007.
The daily average of 2.6 million requests for TV and radio programmes each day also represented a new record. Of the 79.3 million requests, 53.2 million were for television, while radio requests remained stable on 26.1 million.
During October the iPlayer attracted an average of 1.1 million users, the highest figure on record. 700,000 requested TV content only, 300,000 radio content only, and 40,000 requesting both types of media.
The last two weeks of October saw particularly high levels of TV programme requests. The controversial appearance of the British National Party leader Nick Griffin on the political discussion show Question Time on October 22 created higher levels of traffic across the service.
The number of viewers to Question Time would put it 11th in the week’s most watched multichannel television programmes, according to that week’s BARB ratings, just above the US drama Lie to Me and the Champions League clash between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United.
A strong Saturday night line-up later contributed to 14 million requests for TV programmes in the last week of the month. Popular shows Strictly Come Dancing and Merlin increased the number of requests the following day, leading the week commencing October 26 to be the strongest week ever.
The computer still dominates iPlayer use, representing 85% of requests. (The figures exclude the TV version of the iPlayer available on the Virgin Media cable network). The iPhone/iPod Touch and PS3 applications are still delivering significant numbers of TV requests at 7% and 6% respectively.
Over time the profile of the iPlayer user is evening out in terms of male and female viewers. However, the audience remains firmly under 55 years old, younger than either the typical TV viewer or radio listener.
On demand makes up the vast majority of TV programme requests; in October only 4% of viewing was to live streams, though these services are relatively new for the BBC. The iPlayer is used roughly at the same time as linear TV, though there is more use in the daytime and in the late peak.
Separately, it has emerged that the launch of the iPlayer via Microsoft’s Xbox has been placed on hold because the BBC is unwilling to allow Microsoft to charge for the service.
BBC iPlayer Top 20 episodes in October 2009
Most requested episodes per series
Total requests per episode
|1||Question Time 22/10/09||928,000|
|2||Life Episode 1||664,000|
|3||Russell Howard’s Good News Episode 1||410,000|
|4||Mock the Week Series 6 Episode 1||371,000|
|5||Never Mind the Buzzcocks Series 23 Ep 2||362,000|
|7||Merlin Series 2 Episode 3||334,000|
|8||Michael McIntyre’s Comedy R’show Ep 1||321,000|
|9||Strictly Come Dancing Series 7 Ep 5||317,000|
|10||Emma Episode 1||240,000|
|11||Have I Got News for You Series 38 Ep 1||233,000|
|12||Top Gear Series 8 Episode 1||231,000|
|13||Criminal Justice Series 2 Episode 1||229,000|
|14||How Not To Live Your Life Series 2 Ep 4||192,000|
|15||harlie Brooker’s Gameswipe 29/09/09||185,000|
|16||Shooting Stars Series 6 Ep 6||179,000|
|17||The Armstrong & Miller Show Series 2 Ep 2||179,000|
|18||Masterchef: The Professionals Series 2 Ep 29||173,000|
|19||The World’s Strictest Parents Series 2 Ep 1||157,000|
|20||That Mitchell and Webb Look Series 2 Ep 3||156,000|
Source: BBC iStat