An End of Charter Report, released by the BBC Trust finds that while the audience reach of the BBC’s online services has grown from 41% in 2011 to 52% in 2016. However, the Trust admits that the use of flagship online services, such as the iPlayer, is lower than might be expected.
Nine years after launch, the iPlayer is used weekly by 13% of all adults (joint top with Netflix) and 21% of 16-34 year olds (second to Netflix).
“Even as the BBC seeks to create outstanding content on its current channels, it will need to “ride two horses” simultaneously, investing in digital, mobile and personalised services to keep pace with technology change and audience expectations,” said outgoing chairman Rona Fairhead.
The report says there is a danger that a slight decline in the BBC’s overall reach in 2016 to 95% might push down further if online fails to grow.
There are also significant difference in age. While the average time spent with the BBC amongst people over 55 is almost 25 hours, for 16-34 year olds, the average is 11 hours a week.