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BBC iPlayer app triggers iPad usage rise

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BBC iPlayer

© BBC

The launch of the new BBC iPlayer app for iPad helped the total number of requests from Apple's tablet device to increase by 22% month-on-month in February, the BBC has announced.

On February 10, a dedicated iPlayer app became available on the iPad, enabling users to watch the BBC's live TV and radio streams, as well as catch up on seven days of content. An app for smartphones running Google Android was released on the same day. Since the launch, the Android and iPad apps have been downloaded more than 460,000 times.

According to figures released by the corporation, total iPlayer requests from iPad users increased 22% month-on-month in February. The tablet computer delivered around 2.1 million requests for TV shows during the month, up from 1.6m in January.

Despite February being a shorter month, iPlayer still managed to attract 148m requests for TV and radio programmes across all platforms where it is available. A new daily record of 4.5m online requests was also set during the month.

Overall, though, the on-demand platform was considerably down on the record-breaking 162m requests registered in January. Online requests dropped from 101m to 94m last month, while Virgin Media requests slipped from 25m to 23m.

However, live TV streams actually increased on the platform in February to reach an all time high of 15% of all programming requests. The BBC believes that the popularity of big sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Six Nations rugby contributed to the rise.

Top Gear once more dominated the most popular TV programmes, with episode five of series 16 attracting 1.14m requests. Episodes three and four of the motoring show were the second and third most popular content, followed by episodes of Human Planet and Tracey Beaker Returns.

On the radio side, 5 Live's coverage of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Liverpool on February 6 topped the charts with 121,000 requests.

Click here to read our interview with BBC iPlayer boss Daniel Danker

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