Tablets & Smart TVs Help BBC iPlayer Break Records

Jonathan Sutton

The rise in the popularity of smartphones, tablets and internet-connected HDTV displays that provide access to the web have helped BBC iPlayer achieve record viewing figures in 2011, with requests across all platforms reaching 1.94 billion over the entire duration of last year. According to data recently released by the BBC, access to its iPlayer video-on-demand (VoD) service via Smart TVs, tablets and mobiles jumped significantly in December 2011, even though use of the service on computers still came out on top with two-thirds of all requests being made using the PC platform.

BBC iPlayer on iPad
Tablets & Smart TVs help BBC iPlayer break records

When compared on a year-on-year basis, there was a surge of more than 1000 percent in requests made on Smart TV sets in just December, with over 7 million programmes being accessed on the BBC iPlayer service. Requests made on tablets and smartphones also saw year-on-year increases of 596 percent and 163 percent respectively, with 10 million requests made on the former, and 13 million on the latter.

When combined, these figures equated to a total year-on-year increase of 29 percent, and made up the 187 million requests that were made for the month of December alone, setting a new record for the BBC iPlayer.

With a total of 29.7 million requests made for television programmes in the week after Christmas (the 26th of December 2011 to the second of January 2012), the Beeb said the numbers represented the best figures ever for the week after Christmas by BBC iPlayer. The UK public service broadcaster attributed the iPlayer’s latest record-breaking success to the installation of apps on tablets (like the Apple iPad) and smartphones (such as the iPhone), many of which had been given as Christmas presents.