BBC iPlayer sees record-breaking 2011, mobiles and connected TVs contribute

The BBC has released its BBC iStats, revealing the performance of its BBC iPlayer service in 2011 and specifically in the month of December.

The results show that, although the vast majority of viewing takes place on computers, there has been consistent growth in access from other devices. 

BBC iStats breaks down the programme "requests" with Virgin Media cable TV users claiming a 12 per cent slice of BBC iPlayer views in December. "Mobile devices" then claim 7 per cent and tablets get 5 per cent.

This is matched by games consoles, also taking 5 per cent, with "IPTV devices" (e.g. BT Vision) claiming 4 per cent. A final "other devices" category claims another 5 per cent. 

This sees computer viewing drop from 72 per cent to 62 per cent from January to December 2011, a 10 per cent shift to other platforms.

With 1.94 billion programmes watched in 2011, December accounted for 187 million requests for TV and radio through BBC iPlayer.

Other interested statistics reveal what you're all watching and when. Interestingly, peak viewing times for BBC iPlayer TV are between 10pm and 11pm, although radio use peaks around lunchtime.

Unsurprisingly the Top Gear India Special takes the top spot for December viewing, followed by Frozen Planet and Eastenders. In the top 20 total requests, you'll also find Merlin making a regular appearance, along with Life's Too Short and Russell Howard's Good News. Deservedly the top requested radio programme is I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

The success story doesn't stop there. Hitwise recently reported record-breaking viewing figures for 2 January and the BBC now confirms this, reporting a record 5.4 million programme requests, with Sherlock taking 623,000 views, the highest figure for any programme in a 24-hour period.

"While 2011 was a remarkable year for BBC iPlayer across the board, the real story was growth of iPlayer on TVs, mobile phones, and tablets, outpacing PC growth many times over", comments Daniel Danker, general manager, Programmes and on Demand.

2012 is only set to see this diversity soar, as delivery options expand and people realise they no longer need to huddle around their PC.

How do you watch iPlayer? Let us know in the comments below...