ITV advertising rebounds as content segment declines in Q1

ITV advertising rebounds as content segment declines in Q1
Mr Bates vs The Post Office was ITV's top-rated show in Q1 (Credit: ITV Pictures)

ITV’s total advertising revenue was up 3%, but was “offset” by a 16% decline in ITV Studios revenue, the company reported in its Q1 trading update.

This is a reversal from the most recent earnings, which revealed ITV’s total advertising revenue dropped 8% to £1.78bn, while ITV Studios reported 4% growth to record revenue of £2.17bn, building on more than a year of growth.

The Q1 decline in revenue to £382m for ITV Studios, the broadcaster’s content arm, was signposted in the previous earnings as “likely to happen”, due to delays in production resulting from the writers’ and actors’ strikes in the US and “weaker demand” from free-to-air European broadcasters.

Revenue in this segment is forecast to be “broadly flat” for full-year 2024, with “a strong pipeline” of programmes “heavily weighted” to the second half of the year, including Hell’s Kitchen US, The Better Sister, ACAB, Showtrial and Ludwig.

However, ITV Studios is still on track for forecast average organic growth of 5% each year during 2021- 2026.

Advertising momentum into Q2

The UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster reported £432m in total ad revenue. ITV expects “good momentum continuing in Q2”, with anticipated 12% growth, thanks in part to the men’s Euros tournament in June and growth in digital ad revenue.

Looking further ahead, total ad revenue for H1 is forecast to be up around 8%.

ITV’s total revenue was down 7% to £887m, while total external revenue dropped 6% to £727m.

ITV Q1 2024 revenue table
ITV Q1 2024 revenue table

ITVX and digital revenue

In Q1, ITVX posted 16% growth in streaming hours and 14% growth in digital ad revenue.

ITV is anticipating “continued strong growth in both throughout the year”, with the company “on track” to deliver at least £750m in digital revenue by 2026.

Total digital revenue includes revenue from digital advertising, subscription, linear addressable, digital sponsorship and partnership, ITV Win and other digital ventures.

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