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Connected devices propel iPlayer to record year

UK public broadcaster the BBC’s iPlayer platform received a record 1.94 billion requests for TV programmes last year, with the number of requests for connected TVs increasing significantly.

Computers remain the most popular viewing platform, accounting for two-thirds of requests during the year.

In December, seven million programmes were requested on connected devices, including internet connected TVs, games consoles and Blu-ray players, a 1000% year-on-year increase. Smartphones accounted for 13 million requests, up 163% year-on-year, and tablet devices accounted for 10 million requests, up 596%.

“While 2011 was a remarkable year for BBC iPlayer across the board, the real story was growth of iPlayer on TVs, mobile phones, and tablets, outpacing PC growth many times over,” said Daniel Danker, the BBC’s general manager for programmes and on-demand.

The seven days after Christmas was iPlayer’s most successful week since its launch, with 29.7 million requests. January 2 was the most popular day during that week, with 5.4 million TV requests, including 632,000 for Sherlock.

The most requested show during the Christmas period running from December 20 to January 2 was Top Gear – India Special, which attracted 1.7 million requests, followed by Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Comedy Roadshow with one million requests.