Visits to the BBC’s iPlayer have increased 15-fold over the past month, thanks mainly to a major advertising campaign for the catch-up TV service.

The figures from Hitwise’s Robin Goad show that the iPlayer, having launched a streaming version of the service and opened up to the public, has begun to take off.

The high profile advertising campaign, alongside its prominent promotion on the BBC’s websites, has resulted in an increase in searches for the iPlayer, with a fifth of the traffic came via search engines in the past week.

Hitwise iPlayer traffic

One interesting stat from Robin is that the average visit time for the iPlayer is just nine minutes, compared with 20 for the more established YouTube.

Considering that the majority of programming on the iPlayer is 30 minutes or longer, this suggests that a lot of people are leaving without viewing anything.

Perhaps the lack of bite-size clips like YouTube’s is putting some visitors off, or it could be that many people are simply not used to viewing full length programming online, and would rather watch via TV.

The iPlayer has certainly improved since we last looked at it, and some of the problems seem to have been ironed out.

A couple of criticisms though: the iPlayer menu is very slow to navigate through, and a brief description of each programme would help people decide whether or not they want to view it.

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