BBC iPlayer usage up 9% as TV on demand increases

A shocking BBC Three drama, David Beckham, 'EastEnders' and the World Cup helped the BBC iPlayer report 260 million requests in June, up 9% on the same month last year.

David Beckham: stars in the BBC's 'Into The Unknown'
David Beckham: stars in the BBC's 'Into The Unknown'

One-off BBC Three drama 'Murdered By My Boyfriend' was the most popular programme to be viewed on BBC iPlayer, with nearly two million requests. It was closely based on a horrific true story of teen violence and received widespread acclaim after being brought to life by screenwriter Regina Moriarty.

Also in June, the David Beckham documentary, 'Into The Unknown' received 1.28 million requests via iPlayer, and soap 'EastEnders' 1.18 million.

It was not just on-demand usage that helped attract people to the iPlayer. Live viewing also increased across TV and radio as audiences used the digital BBC service to keep up to date with sporting action from the World Cup, Test Cricket and Wimbledon. The Brazil v Chile game generated more than one million requests, 600,000 of which were live.

On radio there were over 1.5 million requests for the England v Sri Lanka test. Chris Evans' 'Breakfast Show', which reported record weekly highs of 9.91 million in last week's Rajar figures for the second quarter, attracted 179,000 downloads. Radio 4 comedy, 'The News Quiz', attracted 56,000 requests via the iPlayer.

Even split between male and female

A BBC statement also noted the profile of BBC iPlayer users has evened out over time in terms of its 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.

The iPlayer's busiest month was in March this year, when it received 320 million requests. The service has grown steadily year on year since it launched in January 2009 with 62 million requests from viewers.

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