New BBC figures show iPlayer approaching 9m requests per day header image

Published: 6th Jun 2014

The BBC has released new figures on the number of times Britons accessed TV and radio content via the iPlayer in April 2014.

According to the Performance Pack, the catch-up service recorded an average of 8.9 million requests per day through the 30-day period - an increase of four per cent year on year.

The broadcaster also revealed that for the first time ever, more people watched iPlayer content on tablets than on desktops and laptops. Some 30 per cent of all TV requests came from this source, compared with 28 per cent for conventional computers.

These statistics suggest that tablets are now Britons' preferred gadgets for streaming programmes over home Wi-Fi, perhaps on account of their portability.

When smartphones were included in the figures as well, mobile devices accounted for more than half of all April's iPlayer TV requests.

The BBC also provided a programme-by-programme breakdown of popular viewing material. Episodes of flagship soap opera EastEnders represented an impressive 16 of the top 20 iPlayer programmes, with the Lucy Beale murder storyline proving particularly engaging for internet-enabled viewers.

Three documentaries that aired on BBC Three - soon to be an online-only channel - were also singled out as notable successes. These were Porn: What’s The Harm, Life And Death Row, and Teen Killers: Life Without Parole, which between them racked up almost 2.5 million requests.

On the radio side, Champions League football generated large volumes of iPlayer traffic, as did Radio 4 comedies The Unbelievable Truth, The Now Show and The News Quiz.

Consistent with previous months, the BBC reported that iPlayer is used at roughly the same times of day as traditional TV - a trend that shows Britons now consider the catch-up service to be an agreeable alternative to primetime broadcasts.

Of course, a decent internet connection is vital in order to enjoy the benefits of video-streaming services like iPlayer. If your fixed-line subscription isn't up to the task, why not check out satellite broadband?