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Olympics, Sherlock, Top Gear drive BBC to record year with iPlayer

2012 has seen the BBC iPlayer break records with 2.32 billion TV and radio programme requests and 36.5 billion minutes of content across all platforms.

Data released by BBC iStats shows that iPlayer audiences spent 34% more time watching TV than ever before, with the Olympic Opening Ceremony racking up 3.3 million requests, followed by Top Gear with 2.8 million, Sherlock with 2.5 million and 2.2 million for Dr Who.

Throughout the year the BBC has reported increased use of non-PC platforms to access content from the iPlayer. For the first time in iPlayer’s history, requests from PCs comprised less than half of all total iPlayer requests – 47% for December 2012 alone.

The end of year data also confirmed that the biggest trend in 2012 was the huge growth in iPlayer requests from mobiles and tablets, which collectively saw a +177% year-on-year increase, now accounting for more than a quarter of total iPlayer requests. 

Among other highlights, the data showed the iPlayer’s Live Restart feature – which allows viewers to rewind and restart live TV without waiting for the programme to end – was used by up to 30% of those watching live TV online.

Commenting on what he called the “ground-breaking year”, Daniel Danker, General Manager, Programmes and on-Demand, said: “[In 2012] the use of iPlayer shifted from PCs and early adopter devices like game consoles to screens used by all audiences. Mobile, tablet, and connected TV skyrocketed, with a particular emphasis on audiences taking iPlayer on-the-go. This year, we’re looking forward to turning iPlayer into an entertainment destination, with a relentless focus on making iPlayer as easy and enjoyable as television.”