The future for record-making iPlayer is connected TV says BBC

Editor | 28-11-2012

With no post-Olympic hangover whatsoever for its on-demand and download catch-up TV service, the BBC sees connected TV as the platform of the future for the iPlayer.

Revealing the monthly performance for October 2012, BBC iStats said that the multimedia service had broken the 200 million request barrier for TV and radio programmes across all platforms, an increase of +20% year-on-year.

Analysing just how the service was being used, the BBC said that the way people are watching iPlayer on multiple different platforms and devices is changing and that the next big push would be towards connected TVs. "It's no big surprise that when at home, audiences like to watch TV on the best screen in the house - the TV. And it's not just us thinking this," commented Dave Price, head of BBC iPlayer, programmes and on-demand, BBC Future Media. "As we also saw during the Olympics, the way people are watching iPlayer on multiple different platforms and devices is changing."

Despite the continued dominance of the PC as the most popular platform for watching BBC iPlayer programmes, accounting for around half of requests in October, there was a 25% month-on-month increase in connected TV usage in October 2012, complemented by the ever increasing amount of traffic from mobile devices, in particular smartphones and tablets.

During the month, 43 million programmes were requested via TV platforms including smart TVs, operator platform such as that from Virgin Media, and games consoles, amounting to a fifth of all requests. Mobile phones and tablets accounted for 28 million and 21 million requests, with year-on-year increases of 168% and 236% respectively, and together they now deliver 23% of all requests.

"This shows the extent to which Internet-connected devices are really starting to penetrate the market, and the fact that BBC iPlayer is available on a large range of mobiles and tablets out there," added Price. "One of our key goals for iPlayer in 2012 was to take it beyond the PC and onto a host of different devices, from mobile smartphones and tablets to smart TVs and games consoles."

Going forward, the BBC believes that it will see continued traction from launching the iPlayer on Sky+, meaning that the iPlayer is now available on cable, satellite and IPTV networks.