Sport dominates BBC iPlayer Radio's most popular

By James Cridland for
Posted 22 January 2015, 11.24am est

Thirteen of the twenty most popular programmes consumed on the BBC iPlayer's radio service in 2014 were cricket commentaries on Test Match Special, it's been published today.

The most popular programme of the year was day one of the England vs India match on 7th August, attracting 312,500 total requests. By contrast, the most popular programme on the TV iPlayer, Sherlock, attracted 4.1 million requests.

Manchester United vs Manchester City on 25th March was the second most popular programme, with 295,300 listen requests.

Sport achieved 19 out of the top 20 programmes, including golf and boxing.

The only non-sport programme in the top 20 was the return of BBC Radio 4's long-running comedy panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, which achieved 209,400 listen requests.

For music programming, BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans achieved 179,500 programme requests for his programme on the 25th June featuring a listener feature around cars; beating BBC Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw who achieved 167,800 for his programme on New Year's Eve.

Radio comedy also appears highly in the iPlayer Radio requests, with I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, The News Quiz, The Now Show, The Unbelievable Truth, Chain Reaction and Cabin Pressure all appearing in the most popular series.

While not explicit in the publication, it is understood that these figures include both live and on-demand listening via the BBC's streams.

The latest monthly figures for the BBC iPlayer, from October 2014, shows that 17% of radio requests are to on-demand programming, with 83% of users listening to live radio. Only 9% of TV users use iPlayer to watch live TV.

The BBC iPlayer figures do not include podcasts.

Edit The original version of this article stated that the requests were for listen-again programming. This is not stated in the BBC's press release (though is normal for releases of this nature), and we now believe that these figures probably include live programming as well.

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James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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