The BBC iPlayer app for iOS and Android mobile devices has been downloaded a total of 20 million times, the BBC has announced. At the same time the amount of mobile and tablet TV viewing has overtaken that on the PC.
Christmas Day 2011 and 2012 are the two highest days for downloads as smartphones and tablets were unwrapped and switched on for the first time.
The last three years has seen phenomenal growth as viewers increasingly look to take their favourite TV with them on the move. In September 2013, a record 70 million TV requests came from mobiles and tablets, compared to just 5 million in September 2010. And TV requests from mobile devices now make up 41 per cent of all iPlayer requests, compared with just 6 per cent three years ago.
Dan Taylor, Head of BBC iPlayer for BBC Future Media says: “With over 20 million downloads of the app and record-breaking BBC iPlayer requests on handheld devices, we are thrilled that viewers are increasingly taking their favourite BBC shows with them to watch whenever and wherever they are. And with tablets the top of many people’s Christmas list for 2013, we expect this to continue to grow even further.”
The iPlayer audience peaks later that that of broadcast TV. Traditionally the British viewer would switch off the television after News at Ten and go to bed. While that still appears to be the case, they are switching their mobile and tablet devices on again, and continuing their viewing.
Mobile viewing is also popular first thing in the morning as audiences catch up on Saturday night entertainment they would otherwise have missed.
Last month, TV viewing on handheld devices continued to grow, with 70 million requests to stream or download programmes on mobiles and tablets.
Downloading BBC TV shows has grown in popularity following the launch of ‘mobile downloads’ in September 2012. Since then, Top Gear has topped the list for the most popular downloaded individual episode, with 92,000 downloads for episode one, series 20. Ten other episodes of Top Gear made the top 20 downloaded programmes, along with dramas such as Luther, Ripper Street and Doctor Who, and comedies such as Miranda and Bad Education. And EastEnders was the most downloaded series overall, with 1.9 million downloads to date.
BBC iPlayer mobile timeline:
Christmas Day 2007 – BBC iPlayer launches
February 2011 – BBC iPlayer mobile app launches on iOS and Android
September 2012 – BBC iPlayer mobile downloads launches
March 2013 – BBC iPlayer requests on tablets overtake requests on mobiles
October 2013 – BBC iPlayer app reaches 20 million downloads