The latest BBC Live +7 audience data for May 2011 has revealed just how strong a contribution the iPlayer, and by extension compelling online video content, is making to overall TV ratings.
The Live +7 data measures the total audience consuming content across all platforms, including live, recordings, narrative repeats, BBC iPlayer and HD for seven days after transmission.
The figures for May 2011 reveal that iPlayer catch-up TV services—delivered mainly from computer-based over the top (OTT) means but also from Virgin Media’s cable TV bouquet and increasingly mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad—can give a bounce of anywhere from a quarter or a third to the TV audience that watched the programmes at their original transmission time.
For example, in May 2011 flagship soap opera EastEnders added an extra 2.4 million viewers to a 3 May episode giving it a total of 11.02 million viewers; business reality show The Apprentice increased its viewers from an overnight figure of 7.45 million to a Live +7 total of 10.15 million viewers for an episode broadcast on 25.05.11; younger demographic oriented comedy Russell Howard's Good News actually more than tripled its overnight figure to a Live +7 total of 3.5 million.
The Live+7 data was released alongside rather robust performance stats for the iPlayer in May 2011. Overall the iPlayer received 159 million requests for TV and radio programmes in May 2011, an increase of 18 million from the previous month boosted in particular by strong demand for the aforementioned The Apprentice and also Doctor Who.