Tablets the top pick for iPlayer Xmas viewing

Oliver Smith
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THE BBC’S iPlayer service saw more viewers tune in on tablets than computers over Christmas for the first time ever.

In comparison, last year tablets made up just 21 per cent of iPlayer’s Boxing Day viewers.

“2013 truly proved to be the year of the tablet and after they were all unwrapped, Boxing Day saw tablet viewing overtake computer viewing for the first time in iPlayer history,” said head of BBC iPlayer Dan Taylor yesterday.

New Year’s Day this year was the busiest day for the service ever with a record-breaking 11m requests for TV and radio programmes, a 35 per cent increase on 1 January 2013.

The BBC’s iPlayer app has now been downloaded over 21m times on tablets and smartphones, with over one million downloads during this Christmas period alone.

“BBC iPlayer has an important role as a complementary platform for BBC broadcast programmes, especially on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, when requests on iPlayer really start to peak and you have time to catch up on the must-watch Christmas programmes,” said Taylor.

The most watched programme was Doctor Who with 1.9m views between 21 December and 1 January. Last year Doctor Who – still the most watched programme of the period – managed just 1.4m views on iPlayer.

During the festive period over 102m TV and radio programmes were watched on the service – up from 77m last year – 80m for TV and 22m for radio. In October BBC director general Tony Hall said the iPlayer service would be the BBC’s primary platform for showing programmes in the future.