On demand TV viewing in the UK

Every month the BBC releases a PDF full of usage data for its iPlayer catch-up product. iPlayer effectively makes all of the BBC's output for the last month or so available on demand, for free, to anyone in the UK. There's a website, smart phone and tablet apps and also apps on smart TVs and games consoles. Pretty much all devices with meaningful user bases can access it. This is what the iPad app looks like (click to enlarge). 

Hence, iPlayer stats give a good sense of what viewing looks like when premium quality content is available, on more or less equal terms, on all possible devices. What do people want to use, given use cases, screen size, interfaces and all the other variables, all of which are changing? 

The whole PDF is interesting, but I want to single out two charts. This one shows video consumption by device. Tablets are 25% of requests, almost as large as all on-TV viewing, which adds up to 27%. Mobile phones are another 15% for a total of 40% on hand-held devices. (Note that this is just share of iPlayer - live broadcast viewing is still vastly larger). 

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 13.03.32.png

The second chart shows consumption by time. iPlayer TV viewing skews to the evening (as one would expect) but also rather later than broadcast viewing. I strongly suspect this reflects viewing on tablets and mobile phones in bed (the report doesn't break device use out on this basis, though).  

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 13.01.44.png

Also, note the scale - iPlayer peaks at a 470k audience where TV is still peaking at 24m. And, as shown on the previous chart, there is growth but it's hardly exploding.   

The broader puzzle for the industry is quite what effect the flood of cheap tablets has on TV viewing. It is hard (though possible) to see mass-substitution from a large screen, especially for group viewing. But second sets, multi-room and teenaged viewing all seem like they might get split off. Equally, the spread of Airplay, Chromecast and similar might change large-screen viewing habits, since they effectively let you use a touch screen interface yet watch on a big screen.