BBC VOD Service App Reaches 20 Million Downloads

"The Great British Bake Off" is among popular BBC show on the iPlayer VOD service.

The U.K. public service broadcaster continues to see increased mobile viewing, with a record 70 million video requests recorded in September.

LONDON – The BBC said Friday that an app for its VOD service iPlayer has been downloaded more than 20 million times amid increased mobile viewing of its TV content.

The app for Apple iOS and Android mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, has become more and more popular "as mobile and tablet TV viewing overtakes TV viewing on PCs," the BBC said.

In September, a record 70 million video requests came from mobiles and tablets, compared with just 5 million in Sept. 2010, according to the broadcaster. That included streaming and download requests. Overall, TV requests from mobile devices now make up 41 percent of all iPlayer requests, compared with just 6 percent three years ago, it said.

BBC director of television Danny Cohen and his team have started debuting some shows on the iPlayer amid its continuing rise in popularity. And he recently announced plans to name a controller for iPlayer to effectively establish it like a fifth BBC TV network.

According to BBC research, audiences flock to the iPlayer at 10 p.m. as they look to catch up with favorite shows in bed. Mobile viewing is also popular first thing in the morning hours and on weekends.

Last month, comedies from young-skewing network BBC Three dominated the list of top programs viewed on mobile devices via iPlayer. They were led by Bad Education and Some Girls. Amateur baking competition The Great British Bake Off and soap EastEnders also were popular BBC programs on the iPlayer.

EastEnders is also the most downloaded BBC series overall on iPlayer with 1.9 million downloads to-date.

Twitter: @georgszalai