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BBC Reports Increased iPlayer Usage - Topping 75m Requests

Posted: 21st May, 2008 By: MarkJ
The BBC's Director of Future Media and Technology, Ashley Highfield, reports that the number of requests for programmes via its broadband Internet TV (IPTV) service - iPlayer, has topped 75m since its launch at the start of this year. Furthermore, monthly requests have increased from 17.2m in March 2008 to 21m in April the following month.

Overall the growth of month on month requests appeared to slow, increasing by 25% from January to February, then 22.86% to March and 22.09% for April. This slowdown is somewhat supported by recent broadband usage figures (here) from UK ISP Plusnet.

Meanwhile, weekly users reached 1.4m in April, which compares with 1.1m in March and double the January figure of 750,000. The top 10 programmes to download or stream during April were as follows:

1. Doctor Who - episode 1 (BBC1)
2. Penguins April Fool (BBC1)
3. Doctor Who - episode 2 (BBC1)
4. Doctor Who - episode 3 (BBC1)
5. Doctor Who - episode 4 (BBC1)
6. Page Three Teens (BBC3)
7. The Apprentice - episode 3 (BBC1)
8. The Apprentice - episode 5 (BBC1)
9. The Apprentice - episode 4 (BBC1)
10. The Apprentice - episode 2 (BBC1)

Redback Networks yesterday reported (here) that nearly half of online UK residents (48%) had watched video or TV on the Internet, suggesting a good appetite for IPTV.

Sadly such services have caused some larger ISPs (e.g. Tiscali) to become angered by the increasing strain it has put on their networks, with several suggesting that the BBC should financially contribute towards their network costs.

However, that outcome is highly unlikely and Internet Service Providers will instead need to adapt both their products and prices to better reflect the UKs growing hunger for higher quality online content.
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