BBC iPlayer Breaks Own Records as Viewing Shifts to Tablets
iPlayer had a standout year, thanks in part to new features like the ability to download programmes for offline viewing.

BBC iPlayer continues to hit record-breaking numbers with 2.32 billion TV and radio programme requests and 36.5 billion minutes of BBC programmes enjoyed across all platforms in 2012.

While the London Olympics boosted figures - notably for the Opening Ceremony which topped iPlayer viewing in 2012 with 3.3 million requests (followed by "Top Gear" with 2.8 million and drama "Sherlock" with 2.5 million), the most notable trend in 2012 was the huge growth in requests from smartphones and tablets.

iPlayer enjoyed a 177 percent increase year-on-year in smartphone and tablet traffic, making up more than a quarter of all iPlayer requests. Desktop and notebook computers now account for less than half of the total requests.

The rise in mobile traffic was no doubt aided by the capability to download progammes to iOS devices, a feature that went live in September. Downloaded programmes now make up six percent of TV viewing on mobiles and tablets.

The majority of viewers downloaded programmes at 10PM to watch on the way to and from work.

iPlayer gained other notable features in 2012, such as Live Restart, which lets viewers rewind and restart live television without waiting for the programme to end. It was used by up to 30 percent of people watching live TV online.

Overall, audiences spent 34 percent more time watching TV in iPlayer than before.

December continued to be the most popular month for iPlayer, with a record 217 million requests for TV and radio programmes, a 23 percent increase over 2011.

New Year's Day saw a peak 6.7 million TV programme requests, breaking the previous one-day record of 6.4 million on August 7 during the London 2012 games.

Daniel Danker, general manager of programmes and on-demand for the BBC, said, "Last year, the use of iPlayer shifted from PCs and early adopter devices like game consoles to screens used by all audiences. Mobile, tablet, and connected TV skyrocketed, with a particular emphasis on audiences taking iPlayer on the go. This year, we're looking forward to turning iPlayer into an entertainment destination, with a relentless focus on making iPlayer as easy and enjoyable as television."

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