The BBC has defended the performance of the iPlayer following a series of ‘misleading headlines’.

Head of iPlayer Dan Taylor-Watt said the popularity of the BBC’s catch up service was far from on the wane. It follows the publication of March figures that were incorrectly suggested to be the first dip in iPlayer history.

In a blog post Taylor-Watt said iPlayer usage changes significantly depending on the season with higher volumes of requests in the autumn and winter months, and lower volumes in the spring and summer. “Within this, there are also times, for example around the London 2012 Olympics, where specific content or a major event bucks the iPlayer trend – with high levels of usage in the summer months.”

The comments came as the BBC reported 271 million requests to BBC iPlayer in April, up from 268 million in April 2014. TV requests at 218 million were up by 14 million compared to April 2014.

Part of the March ‘problem’ was down to measurement capture issues, It’s thought around 17 million requests were missing from the reported data. Taylor-Watt explained the iPlayer had gone from a single website at launch in 2007 through to today’s 1,700 devices and platforms.

Significantly, the much-touted iPlayer specials, including Frankie Boyle’s Election Autopsy and Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake, are not included in the data to make comparing month-on-month usage more meaningful.