More Brits tune into BBC iPlayer header image

A increased number of people used BBC iPlayer in October. 

New statistics from the broadcaster show there were 261 million requests to stream or download a programme during the month, which is up 23 per cent on the same time last year. Of these, 199 million were for TV - the third highest figure on record. 

An average of 7.8 million requests were made each day during October, with the first and last week of the month experiencing the highest number of users.

Requests from smartphones and tablet computers accounted for a third of the total, which is a new record. This is only two percentage points behind desktops, which made up 39 per cent. 

The most popular TV programmes on iPlayer were comedies Bad Education and Some Girls, both of which premiered on the service. Other shows that received a large number of views were The Great British Bake Off, The Wrong Mans, Atlantis and Waterloo Road.

In terms of radio, coverage of Premier League and international football matches were the most popular, with Manchester United's clash with Stoke City receiving the highest number of listeners. A total of 62 million radio requests were made on iPlayer throughout October.

The BBC said the vast majority of users of the on-demand service are under the age of 55, which is younger than the average TV viewer or radio listener. However, it is similar to the typical profile of a home broadband user.

In October, the broadcaster revealed a new direction for iPlayer, which will see the organisation try to improve the service further.

Speaking at the time, BBC director-general Tony Hall said: "In the coming years, for many people BBC iPlayer is going to be the front door to our programming and the experience they have is going to be a world away from that of a traditional 'one to many' broadcaster."

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