The BBC’s online TV catchup service has reported how popular they’ve been for the two week Christmas period. From Christmas day, around 1 million people watched a total of over 3.5 million TV shows. The BBC iPlayer features as many shows as the BBC has rights to which are available for streaming for two weeks after broadcast.
Initially the service was set up as a downloading/peer-to-peer software networking system. When the BBC were instructed to make sure that non Windows-based PCs could use the service, they added a streaming service. The ease of watching streamed shows means that streamers outnumbered downloaders by 8 to 1.
The most important statistic is the average time people spent watching: 25 minutes. Up until now, internet video has been associated with 5-10 minute YouTube clips. Once people get comfortable watching for longer, niche broadcasters will step up. They’ll need content that is well produced, written and edited. Good news.