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Hitwise Intelligence - Robin Goad - UK

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BBC iPlayer traffic increases 14-fold in a month

January 10, 2008

UK Internet traffic to the BBC’s iPlayer website increased 14-fold between the week ending 8 December 2007 and the week ending 5 January. The online catch-up TV service ranked as the 80th most visited website in the UK for the week ending 5 January 2008, having peaked at number 62 on New Year’s Day.

BBC iPlayer UK Internet ranking December 2007 January 2008 chart.png

The BBC heavily promoted iPlayer on TV and in the press over the Christmas period and it seems to have paid off. Searches for ‘iPlayer’ increased 15-fold over the last month, and one fifth of the site’s traffic came from search engines last week. UK TV viewers are also finding iPlayer when searching for their favourite BBC programs online: ‘eastenders’ was the most popular non-navigational search term sending traffic to the site over the last month. Other popular program searches sending traffic to the site were ‘live at the apollo’, ‘three men in another boat’ and ‘holby city’.

The BBC has also been promoting iPlayer online, and over half of traffic to the site for the week ending 5 January came from other BBC websites. The official websites of Eastenders and Doctor Who were the program-specific BBC websites sending most traffic to iPlayer.

Top 20 UK search terms sending internet traffic to BBC iPlayer chart.png

Despite the success of iPlayer, the BBC still has a way to go before it catches up with online video market leader YouTube. For the week ending 5 January, www.youtube.com accounted for 8.75% of all UK Internet visits to Entertainment websites, over 12 times the market share of iPlayer (0.69%, although this figure only accounts for users viewing content directly via the iPlayer website and excludes content viewed via the iPlayer downloadable application). In addition, ‘youtube’ is currently the fourth most searched for term in the UK across the whole of the Internet. For the week ending 5 January there were 96 times as many searches for ‘youtube’ as for ‘iplayer’, and 167 times as many as for ‘4od’, Channel Four’s own online TV catch up service.

UK internet traffic to BBC iplayer and youtube chart.png

However, the success of iPlayer, 4oD and other video websites illustrate that YouTube’s market leadership position will not be guaranteed in the future. The average visit time for iPlayer is currently just under nine minutes, compared with almost 20 minutes for YouTube. The relatively low visit time for iPlayer implies that people are currently in the testing / discovery phase for many of these new services; but all of the main terrestrial broadcasters currently have viable online TV services, and now that people are really starting to use them, average visit time will only increase, just as it did with YouTube. Sites such as iPlayer also have a broader demographic reach than YouTube, particularly with regard to older users. Bearing these and other developments in mind, 2008 looks set to be the year when online video truly goes mainstream in the UK.

Posted by Robin Goad at 10:00 AM | (1) | (0)
In Categories Search | TV

Comments

Update!

The BBC have just realeased their own iPlayer data here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7187967.stm

They report that 3.5m million programs have been streamed or downloaded since Christmas Day, averaging 250,000 each day.

The 3 most popular programs on the service were Dr. Who, Eastenders and Top Gear. Nice to see that our data pointed towards 2 of these - plus we also highlighted the third in a Hitwise To Go last week: http://weblogs.hitwise.com/to-go-uk/2008/01/top_gears_stig_most_popular_wh.html

Posted by Robin Goad | January 15, 2008 11:20 AM

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