Watching the BBC via iPlayer is fast becoming the method of choice for TV viewing in the UK. The state owned broadcaster logged 320 million TV and radio requests through the iPlayer in March 2014, up by 18% year-on-year. This is a new record for the online catch-up service surpassing the BBC’s previous record of 315 million requests in January this year, with much of the gain coming from viewing on mobile.
The BBC reported that mobiles and tablets accounted for almost half the total traffic with 115 million TV program requests in March. Requests from tablets and PCs were on par at 29% of total views, with mobile devices at 18%, TV platform operators at 16% and games consoles at 5%.
The hit programs included the old favorite Top Gear - The Burma Special (despite accusations of a racist remark in the show by Jeremy Clarkson), singing knock-out competition The Voice UK, and Outnumbered (A sitcom about kids taking over the running of a family.)
The report says that 'consistent with previous months:
- The profile of BBC iPlayer users has evened out over time in terms of male/female ratio, but remains strongly under-55 in terms of age, which is younger than the typical TV viewer or radio listener’s profile (although more in line with home broadband users)
- BBC iPlayer is used for TV at roughly the same time of day as linear TV viewing, although there is proportionally more daytime and late-peak use. For radio, BBC iPlayer is used far more in daytime than traditional radio listening, which peaks at breakfast-time '
Some other interesting data came out in the report such as the average daily requests dropped slightly in March from the record high in February, but remained above 10 million for the third consecutive month.
The profile of users of the BBC iPlayer is measured on a monthly survey of 700+ UK adults. The gender profile has remained stable in recent months, however for Q4 13 the split is skewed towards a male audience.
From my own observations of the viewing habits of fan's of the 'Beeb' (The nickname for the BBC) the growth of iPlayer viewing is set to continue unabated - it's only a matter of time until it becomes the preferred means of watching TV content in the UK.