Summer streaming? BBC iPlayer views fall to 19-month low
James R | On 02, Sep 2014
BBC iPlayer views fell to a 19-month low in July 2014.
There were 231 million requests – including streams and downloads – on the BBC’s VOD service last month, down from 260 million in June 2014 and 273 million in May. In fact, July 2014 marked the lowest level of activity on the site since December 2012, when there were 217 million requests.
The downturn is no surprise given the season: during summer holidays, VOD activity is traditionally lower than the rest of the year, as people go on holiday, leaving their TV screens and computer monitors behind. Nonetheless, the figures mark a 4.7 per cent drop from July last year, when there were 242 million.
There was also a significant shift away from catch-up viewing, as live-streaming hit its highest peak of 2014 so far.
The stats follow a report from BroadStream, which found that 89 per cent of Brits still regularly use their telly to watch things live, compared to just 20 per cent say they have used VOD in 2014 – which, in turn, is below 21 per cent of viewers who said they have not used it at all.
But the BBC notes that the surge in live viewing is mostly due to sport. Indeed, the World Cup drew to a close in July, with all three of the final matches making it into the top 20 most requested TV programmes on iPlayer. The Germany v Brazil match alone generated 1.2 million requests.
Thanks to the World Cup boost, live-streaming made up 15 per cent of activity on iPlayer – a level last seen in July 2013.
Despite the overall drop in users, though, daily TV requests were steady at 5.3 million in July 2014, with radio requests marking a bigger fall from 2.5 million in July 2013 to 2.1 million,
Of those who weren’t out of the country or following the football, new BBC Two drama The Honourable Woman was the most popular programme, with 1.3 million requests for the first episode in July.
For the second consecutive month, Murdered By My Boyfriend continued to perform well, and by the end of July had been seen over 3 million times on BBC iPlayer in total, making it the most requested BBC Three drama of all time.