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BBC iPlayer passes milestone with 145m requests in December

by Sarah Griffiths on 20 January 2011, 11:59

Tags: BBC

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Magic milestone

BBC iPlayer received 145 million programme requests in the month of December, smashing its personal record for the third consecutive month.

Top Gear's two Christmas specials proved the most popular programmes in December, notching up a staggering 1.3 million views each and helping to beat BBC iPlayer's request count for December 2009, which was still a respectable 114 million requests, according to Auntie.

Jana Bennett, the Beeb's director of vision, is said to believe that the figured from last month demonstrates how ‘essential' VOD services, namely iPlayer have become to the British public.

Past figures from the broadcaster have charted iPlayer's steady rise in demand from telly addicts, with 139 million programme requests in October rising to 141 million in November and then peaking at December's 145 million requests.

It will be interesting to note whether the figures continue their steady rise even without Christmas specials to lure viewers.

The Beeb said The Apprentice, Come Fly with Me, Doctor Who and EastEnders were among the top 10 most requested shows in December.

It appears that Auntie anticipates demand to keep on growing, as Daniel Danker, GM of BBC programmes and on demand, said the BBC had seen a "huge growth of BBC iPlayer on game consoles, connected TVs, and mobiles phones."

"Growth on these devices will significantly outpace traditional BBC iPlayer use in 2011," he reportedly added.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Day 5 of The Ashes second test was the most popular radio programme, drawing 159,000 requests on iPlayer.

2010 was a good year for iPlayer, which received 1.3 billion requests for TV and radio shows and Matt Smith's debut as Doctor Who in the episode The Eleventh Hour was watched 2.2 million times.

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