BBC trumpets iPlayer success

BBC trumpets iPlayer success

More than 17 million programmes viewed to date

The BBC claims that more than 17 million programmes have been streamed or downloaded via iPlayer in the first seven weeks since its official launch.

Up to half a million programmes a day are being viewed using the iPlayer following a recent surge in popularity, according to the corporation.

IPlayer is a licence payer funded on-demand service which allows viewers to watch TV programmes from the past seven days.

It is widely viewed as an attempt to attract a younger generation of viewers who are turning to the internet for their entertainment in preference to TV.

The BBC is facing stiff competition from similar services offered by Channel 4 and ITV, as well as video-sharing sites such as YouTube.

The BBC cited Ashes To Ashes, the Six Nations clash between England and Wales and Life In Cold Blood as top iPlayer performers.

"It is still early days, but the indications are that BBC iPlayer is having a significant effect in attracting new users to," said Ashley Highfield, director of BBC future media and technology.

"To build on this initial success, we continue to reach out to audiences wherever they are, and we now have BBC-branded channels on Yahoo and partnerships with MSN and Blinkx going live soon.

"We are also introducing new features on the BBC iPlayer homepage, including improved navigation options and programme recommendations."

Latest additions to the iPlayer include 'Last Chance', which offers the ability to view programmes that have six hours left before their rights window expires.

BBC iPlayer Top 10 for 25 December 2007 to 12 February 2008:
  1. Doctor Who
  2. Louis Theroux Behind Bars
  3. Torchwood
  4. Ashes To Ashes
  5. Torchwood
  6. Six Nations Rugby
  7. Top Gear
  8. Mistresses
  9. Mistresses
  10. Torchwood