BBC iPlayer leads media streaming surge

BBC iPlayer leads media streaming surge The BBC's iPlayer has proved a huge success, according to new research into the online media player.

More than 1.5 billion TV shows and specialist programmes are set to be downloaded or streamed this year in the UK, with the BBC's flagship iPlayer one of the most prominent systems on the net.

The report from Screen Digest estimates that the BBC's new on-demand video service held some 38 per cent of the UK's free-to-view market last year.

And much of this has been put down to the fact that people searching for online programmes and viewing streaming content were less likely to use a system which requires a download – the iPlayer has been moved away from this to an application that works within a web browser.

According to the report, this hugely boosted download figures, with more than 250,000 shows downloaded or streamed in the two weeks after its relaunch.

"Screen Digest's long-term financial outlook of the UK online TV sector will now be dependent on the future development of convincing platform strategies by UK commercial broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Five, as well as new entrants such as Bebo, MySpace, YouTube and Joost," said the Screen Digest senior analyst, Arash Amel.

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