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Connected devices propel BBC iPlayer to record year

UK public broadcaster the BBC’s iPlayer platform received a record 1.94 billion requests for TV programmes last year, with the number of requests for connected TVs increasing significantly.

In December, seven million programmes were requested on connected devices, including internet connected TVs, games consoles and Blu-ray players, a 1000% year-on-year increase. Smartphones accounted for 13 million requests, up 163% year-on-year, and tablet devices accounted for 10 million requests, up 596%.

“While 2011 was a remarkable year for BBC iPlayer across the board, the real story was growth of iPlayer on TVs, mobile phones, and tablets, outpacing PC growth many times over,” said Daniel Danker, the BBC’s general manager for programmes and on-demand.

The most requested show during the Christmas period running from December 20 to January 2 was Top Gear – India Special, which attracted 1.7 million requests, followed by Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Comedy Roadshow with one million requests.

The growing popularity of connected TVs, smartphones and tablets have helped the BBC to a record-breaking 1.94 billion TV and radio programme requests across all platforms during 2011.

Although computers remain the most popular platform to access the iPlayer, accounting for two thirds of requests across the year, the trend towards the new devices is clear.

The BBC has near-universal availability on such devices, though other major broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are beginning to catch up, while Sky also reports significant demand for Sky Go within its subscriber base.