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BBC: Smart TVs make up just 2 per cent of iPlayer viewers

More people watch BBC iPlayer on phones and tablets than they do on smart TV’s, according to the BBC’s general manager for iPlayer Daniel Danker. 

Speaking at TV Connect in London, Danker shared some figures pointing to a spike in iPlayer traffic from January this year which has been largely driven by mobile devices and games consoles. Danker went on to compare the experience of getting iPlayer on your smart TV to ordering spaghetti and meatballs and getting them in two separate bowls – everything’s there but you need to do a bit more work to get the end result. 

BBC iPlayer stats suggest that the real smart TV is the one in your pocket, not the one in your living room

Read Recombu Digital’s report on BBC Connected Red Button

The news is also perhaps unsurprising, given the findings of the recent TV Licensing Authority report showing that we watch more TV than ever, even though we own fewer sets. The general hassle of having to set up on-demand viewing on most smart TV platforms is also a factor. 

Looking at the adoption rate of the iPlayer in general, Danker put it way above the curve for things like colour TV and the internet in British homes, saying that successful consumer technology generally achieves 90 per cent adoption by 20 years. While adoption of iPlayer is on the whole way ahead, accessing it on connected TV is lagging behind. 

Smart TVs with hidden away catch up services have some catching up to do

Talking about the BBC Connected Red button which launched on Virgin Media TiVo last year, Danker remains confident that the current trend can be reversed by giving viewers an easier way to get their spaghetti and meatballs through one button, so to speak. 

While we know that the BBC intends to roll out Connected Red Button to connected Freeview, Freesat, Sky and YouView boxes in the future there was no update or mention of ETAs for when any of this would happen, sadly. 

We’re fans of any kind of technology that enables users to take one right turn instead of having to make three left ones and look forwards to seeing Connected Red Button landing on other TV platforms soon. 


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