The growing story of BBC iPlayer on TV
I like stats. Stats are good and fun. Stats tell you things. Stats tell you interesting things. Stats are good and fun. I looked at some stats today. It was the July 2011 BBC iPlayer Performance Pack. They were interesting.
I must declare an interest. Up until 10 June I was the Product Manager for BBC iPlayer on Freeview, Freesat and BT Vision, which were some of the products in the BBC iPlayer connected TV team. I worked on them for quite some time so I wanted to see how my old products were doing.
Very well, is the answer.
My old department, now safely relocated to the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford Quays, was responsible for (amongst other things) BBC iPlayer on connected TV devices. Basically that covered TV sets, games consoles and set top boxes. Or to put it really basically, iPlayer on yer telly.
I always felt BBC iPlayer belonged on a TV set. I still do. I hate watching TV on a laptop. It’s wrong. Yet it always seemed that the web version was all anyone in the media cared about. Well until the iPhone and then the iPad came along anyway.
However the stats speak for themselves.
BBC iPlayer on tablets like the iPad account for just 2% of viewing requests, and appear to be staying rather static. Viewing on IPTV devices (basically all TV viewing not done on a Virgin Media box nor on a games console) however has been steadily increasing all year. In April it accounted for 3% of BBC iPlayer viewing. In May 4%. June was 5%. And this July that went up to 7%, outperforming games console viewing for the first time.
Add it all on to the 6% of views from the Wii and Playstation and the 15% from Virgin Media customers and in July 28% of all BBC iPlayer requests were from a device connected to someone’s television set.
If I was my old team, I wouldn’t be resting on my laurels just uey, and I seriously doubt they are because there’s still some way to go yet before TV becomes the dominant viewing platform. The BBC iPlayer website still accounts for 63% of all viewing, however it’s notably in decline, falling from 70% this time last year.
Somewhere in the BBC there’s probably someone worrying about that figure, but I’m not sure I would be particularly much. After all, who wants to watch programmes on their computer when you’ve got a nice big television set instead? That’s where BBC iPlayer belongs.