The Art of iPlayer

Following on from my last post I was just reading this week’s Guardian Media supplement on online TV and discovered some interesting facts. BBC iPlayer has been a huge success but it would be reasonable to assume that this was hurting the numbers of people watching normal television. What is amazing is that the opposite seems to be the case.

For popular television programs, like Dr Who or the Apprentice, it on average adds 3% extra audience share. Its fascinating that iPlayer and online distribution have found these programs a new audience at all, but what is really interesting is that for programs aimed at young people iPlayer has added a 20% in terms of audience numbers. By any standard that’s a huge increase.

Its fair to say that BBC iPlayer is the gold standard whose aesthetics and ease of use are not achieveable without a massive budget. However these figures do prove that new audiences, especially young audiences, can be reached with channels like YouTube. Arts organisations need to embrace this instead of worrying too much about intellectual property and the sacred nature of the art object!

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