The new BBC Trust has published its first annual report and accounts since taking over from the former governors. It includes the findings of its first major audience research project on priorities and performance. Interactive television is not generally seen as particularly important, but appears to be appreciated more by those that actually use such services.
The average monthly reach for BBCi enhanced television programmes remained static at 3.2 million users, slightly lower than in 2004. These BARB research panel figures are only based on digital satellite homes. However, 5.4 million people are estimated to have used the World Cup interactive service last year.
The figure is much higher for digital text services, the replacement for teletext. Some 14 million adults claimed to use BBCi digital text services at least once a month, up from 10.7 million the previous year, according to a TNS New Media Tracker survey. Again, this is only counting digital satellite viewers, from a population of some 8 million homes subscribing to satellite television.
A similar number of adult users, 14.3 million, said they used the BBC web site each month, which is about half the number of internet users in the country. This is comparable to the 14.8 million a week recorded by server logs, compared to 12.3 million the previous year. Nearly the same number again used the service from outside the UK.
Young people in particular are watching less television. A survey showed that 33% of those aged 15-24 saw the internet as a source of enjoyment, compared to only 36% for television.
The BBC Trust also published research by BMRB, based on a survey of 4,500 adults in the United Kingdom.
Interactive television appears to rank low on their list of priorities, compared to innovative programming.
While 72% of those surveyed thought that it was important that the BBC had lots of fresh and new ideas, only 51% thought it was performing well in this.
The survey showed that only 36% of respondents thought it important that the BBC provide services on interactive television, rising to 62% among those that actually used such services.
Only 15% considered that it was important that the BBC provide material on mobile phones, while only 16% agreed among those that used such mobile services.