BBC iPlayer Popularity Grows on Tablets, Smartphones

Mike Wheatley

When it comes to watching the BBC’s iPlayer, tablets are fast becoming the platform of choice for UK viewers. That platform has officially overtaken the smartphone as the most popular type of device on which to view the service, according to the BBC’s latest figures.

BBC iPlayer performance
BBC iPlayer popularity grows on tablets, smartphones

The iPlayer received almost 200,000 more requests from tablets than it did from smartphones over the last month, says the BBC. However, that doesn’t mean that smartphone watchers are losing interest in the service – the Beeb actually reports growth in both categories, with mobile devices now accounting for 30% of all traffic received by its on-demand app, up from 25% last January.

The BBC’s iPlayer Performance report also provides insights into the most popular shows being viewed with the app, reporting that Top Gear’s Africa special was the most-viewed TV show over the last month, with the drama Neverwhere topping the list of Radio shows.

Other stats show that the vast majority of iPlayer viewers remain “strongly under-55” years, which the BBC says is younger than the age of most typical TV viewers and radio listeners. In addition, the iPlayer also sees more daytime and late-night viewing than ‘regular’ TV, something that suggests the iPlayer has yet to catch on with older viewers.

With any luck, the BBC app should only gain in popularity as it becomes available on a wider range of devices. Coinciding with its report, the broadcaster announced that the iPlayer is finally set to hit the Windows Phone, although the service won’t be a full application just yet. Instead, users of Microsoft’s tile-centric OS will have to make do with a simple shortcut on their homescreen, which takes them through to the web version used on PCs.

However, the iPlayer could be in for a fight as it looks to grow its user base even further. BskyB has just announced extended support for its own Sky Go on-demand service, bringing the app to four of the most popular new high-end Android devices – the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, Motorola RAZR HD, and the Sony Xperia Z. Owners of these devices can now download Sky Go for free directly from the Google Play store.

Source: BBC and Google Play