The BBC’s iconic iPlayer service shows no sign of letting up in its growth, especially away from its traditional platform, as the tablet side of the on-demand player took its turn in the statistics spotlight this week.
Believed to have been aided heavily by an increase in tablet owners last Christmas (in particular via new products such as the Google Nexus 7 and Apple iPad mini), views of the iPlayer through tablet apps has close to doubled since before the holiday period.
The broadcaster stated that ‘programme requests’ coming via such devices rose from a 21m total at the end of November to 40m throughout January, becoming responsible for 15% of all site requests (including radio) and 18% of all TV-based requests, figures up from 6% and 7% respectively from January 2012.
In addition, the impact of smartphones was also heralded, with 44m views in total on mobile apps for January, considered part of a ‘step change’ in content consumption led by the flow of new devices owned since December.
BBC’s iPlayer divisional head Dave Price summarised of the trends: “BBC iPlayer had a record-breaking festive period, with performance driven by new mobiles and tablets unwrapped on Christmas Day, and it looks like these devices have yet to be put down.”
For the month of January, the iPlayer recorded a full total of 272m requests in the month, and a single show request record of 2.3m (with episode 1 of David Attenborough’s Africa leading the charts for the month), as it looks to continue its prominence throughout the year 2013, they will not be too disappointed with the start, and with future plans such as online-exclusives, how far will the numbers stretch by January 2014? With great popularity comes great temptation, though, so viewers will hope that the iPlayer doesn’t become big enough to be considered the same as a licence-able TV set like in Sweden…