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BBC iPlayer usage falls for first time ever

The number of people viewing content on BBC iPlayer has fallen for the first time ever.

Since its 2007 launch, usage of the video streaming service has steadily and consistently grown.

According to new statistics, requests to watch programmes using the service fell to around 230 million, as reported by the FT.

That marked a seven per cent fall in requests compared to the same period in 2014.

What’s more, the service only grew by 2 per cent year-on-year for the first three months of 2015 – that’s iPlayer’s slowest growth ever.

It’s worth noting that Top Gear still brought in typically high viewership figures, so the show’s cancellation can’t be blamed for the drop-off.

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

Whatever the case, it’s certainly a worrying metric for the BBC. Especially as the company recently announced it will soon shutter BBC Three broadcasts and move the channel entirely online.

The slump in viewing figures could be a mere anomaly, of course, and the service may return to strength in the following quarter.

Rival streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video have seen good growth in recent times, so an exodus from iPlayer could be put down to expanding choice in the market.

The news comes just days after BBC announced it was pulling the plug on the iPlayer Global service.

The monetised, worldwide-available app launched back in 2010, but is due to close down for good before the end of June.

Can BBC iPlayer compete with the likes of Netflix? Let us know in the comments.