BBC iPlayer prompts a surge in online viewers

20 February 2008 / by Joy Tibbs
Approximately 500,000 programmes are now being viewed on the BBC iPlayer each day according to the corporation. More than 17 million programmes have been viewed since the free catch-up service was introduced seven weeks ago.

Director of BBC Future Media and Technology, Ashley Highfield, says: "While it's still early days, early indications are that BBC iPlayer is having a significant effect in attracting new users to"

In January alone, more than 2.2 million people watched a programme on the iPlayer, either streaming or downloading approximately 11 million programmes in total. Programmes which performed particularly well include Ashes To Ashes, the Six Nations clash between England and Wales and Life In Cold Blood.

"We now have BBC-branded 'channels' on Yahoo! and partnerships with MSN and Blinkx going live soon," says Mr Highfield.

"These enable you to watch highlights and excerpts of BBC programmes, as well as clicking on a link to watch the full programme on BBC iPlayer. In addition, we are introducing new features on the BBC iPlayer homepage, including improved navigation options and programme recommendations."

The number of visitors to the whole of has increased by more than a quarter in the last year. In January, 20 million UK visitors used each week, an increase of 29 per cent compared with January 2007. Of these, 1.3 million unique visitors each week used the iPlayer, while many others were drawn to the news, sport and weather pages.

The internet is fast becoming a first port of call for many people, whether for entertainment, news, filling in tax returns, shopping online, internet banking or social networking. Comparing thing like loans, bank accounts, and utility providers are also popular internet activities. With a wide range of broadband deals now on offer, online services are increasingly accessible.

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