The BBC iPlayer continues to go from strength to strength. Not only is it a brilliantly conceived and run, user-friendly service, it’s also still growing in popularity, breaking the 100 million requests barrier for the month of December.
And yet, the BBC Trust is set to review it the video on-demand service.
I use the BBC iPlayer on a weekly basis. It’s brilliantly designed and brilliantly maintained. In terms of British VoD offerings, the only service that comes close is 4oD, but the iPlayer tops the Channel 4 offering on content and user-friendliness.
And it isn’t just me who thinks this. The iPlayer has been consistently growing in popularity since launch; partly due to word of mouth, partly because video on-demand is becoming more accepted in the mainstream, and partly thanks to the wealth of devices iPlayer is now available on.
In December, the BBC revealed usage stats for the whole of 2009. It was revealed that requests in November had hit 90 million. New figures for December have now revealed the number of requests has broken through the 100 million barrier, with 115 million requests for the last month of the noughties.
Top Gear was again the most popular show. While David Tennant’s last Doctor Who and Gavin & Stacey’s last ever episode also proved popular.
Erik Huggers, director of future media and technology at the BBC, told Pocket-lint:
“Breaking the 100 million barrier is a great way to kick off 2010 and these figures show that by offering simple and varied access to BBC iPlayer people are really finding it easy to catch up with their favourite programmes at a time that suits them.”
BBC Trust Review
Despite this unarguable success, the BBC Trust is embarking on a three-month review of the iPlayer. According to The Telegraph, the seven-day TV catch-up service and the Virgin TV cable service will be part of the review, with a public consultation until March and a final assessment due in April.
New Year’s Day was the biggest day over the holidays for the iPlayer, which suggests 2010 has started exactly as 2009 ended. Assuming the BBC Trust don’t meddle with the service, then surely the only way is up.
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