More than 3.5 million programmes accessed via BBC iPlayer in first fortnight

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
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Over a million visitors to BBC iPlayer website following Christmas Day marketing launch

Over 3.5 million programmes have been streamed or downloaded on demand via the BBC iPlayer within a fortnight of its marketing launch on Christmas Day.

The programmes were streamed or downloaded on demand between Tuesday 25 December and Monday 7 January by over a million visitors to, where members of the public are able to choose from some 250 BBC programmes from the previous seven days.

The BBC research reveals that an average of a quarter of a million programmes have been downloaded or streamed each day since 25 December.

Users, on average, watch each streamed programme for just under 25 minutes, while the number of users choosing to stream content currently outnumbers downloading by a factor of eight to one.

Whilst the top ten most popular programmes account for just under a quarter of all those consumed via the BBC iPlayer, programmes that are ranked outside the top 50 actually make up almost half of the total consumption.

The BBC favourites that made up the top five most frequently streamed programmes are the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC One), Extras Christmas Special (BBC Two), Top Gear (BBC Two), The Catherine Tate Christmas Show (BBC One) and the Christmas Day edition of EastEnders (BBC One).

The BBC research also suggests a significant “long tail” effect, with the BBC Four series Dance Britannia, a history of the evolution of dance, the documentary Factory: Manchester From Joy Division To Happy Mondays (BBC Four) and BBC Three’s The Real Hustle all appearing in the top 100 most streamed programmes.

Ashley Highfield, Director of BBC Future Media and Technology, comments: “We are delighted with the public’s response to the BBC iPlayer.

“Attracting a million visitors, who’ve accessed over three and a half million programmes, within just two weeks is a wonderful start.

“Typically, people who use the BBC iPlayer are spending nearly half an hour a day watching streams of their favourite programmes, suggesting that it looks set to revolutionise the way BBC Television programmes are viewed in the UK.

“Significantly, while the BBC iPlayer allows the public to catch up on their favourite mainstream BBC shows, it is also encouraging to see that nearly half of all programmes streamed or downloaded are placed outside the top 50, demonstrating how on demand services can bring niche programming to a wider audience.”

Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision, comments: “It is brilliant to see how audiences have enjoyed BBC programming across all platforms this Christmas.

“The BBC iPlayer is a wonderful present, offering viewers the opportunity to catch up whenever they want.”