iPlayer – 3.5m programmes and counting!

iPlayerBBC News has provided some pretty interesting stats gathered from the first few weeks of the full BBC iPlayer launch.

The hits list comes as no huge surprise with the (disappointing) Doctor Who Christmas Special, Top Gear and the “festive” edition of EastEnders coming out on top.

What is interesting, however, is that almost half the content played via iPlayer was outside the ‘top 50’ most popular shows on BBC.

Some one million people have used the online service since 25th December downloading or streaming 3.5 million programmes.

What isn’t clear is if the 3.5 million programmes are ones that have been watched in totality or just ones people have had a quick butchers at and moved on, ie just counting hits.

While download services such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD are looking to create a wider audience for niche programmes, the danger still exists that if the small niche audience only watches the content online that the all powerful controllers will still axe shows due to falling TV viewing figures. 

If that was the case perhaps there may come a time where programmes are produced purly for an online market – and, if it’s any good, does that mean we’d still have to pay a TV license?