Viewers take to iPlayer in their millions

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The BBC's iPlayer service continues to go from strength to strength, logging growth of more than 20 percent between March and April 2008..

The service received 21 million requests for downloads and streams of BBC programmes in April, up from 17.2 million in March.

IPlayer has received more than 75 million requests since its launch in December last year.

The figures were unveiled by Ashley Highfield, BBC director of future media & technology, at the Google Zeitgeist 2008 forum.

The iPlayer had an average of 1.4 million weekly users in April, up from 1.1 million in March, and nearly double January's average of 750,000 users.

Doctor Who and The Apprentice topped the list of programmes streamed or downloaded during April.

However, the figures also reveal that programmes outside the top 20 account for over a quarter of total consumption, suggesting a 'long tail' effect in action.

The growth in popularity is showing no signs of abating, as in the first two weeks of May the average number of requests to view rose to 716,000 and 18 May alone saw over 900,000 requests from more than 390,000 users.

The BBC iPlayer is most popular with 35 to 54 year-olds at around 43 percent of all users, followed by 16 to 34 year-olds (37 percent) and over 55s (21 percent).
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