ITV to launch exclusive shows on streaming service ITVX
ITV has announced it will launch the UK’s first integrated advertising and subscription-funded platform later this year.
The UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster will launch new content on ITVX months ahead of its linear channels, including shows like Spy Among Friends (pictured, above).
ITVX will be “the new streaming home of ITV”, bringing together content from ITV Hub, the broadcaster video on-demand service, and BritBox, the subscription service.
ITV will scale up content on ITV Hub and BritBox ahead of ITVX’s launch.
ITV Hub currently has 4,000 hours of content, while ITVX will have around 15,000 hours when it debuts.
US shows will also be available on the streaming service including The Confessions of Frannie Langton and The Sex Lives of College Girls.
ITVX also intends to stream 500 films for free in its first year and refresh its titles regularly with 150 films on the service at any one time.
Sporting events like the FIFA World Cup, alongside I’m A Celebrity and Love Island finals will also be live-streamed through ITVX at the same time as they are broadcast on ITV’s linear channels.
Viewers can choose between watching content for free in an advertising-funded tier or a paid ad-free subscription service that offers more British boxsets from Britbox and other partners’ content.
Pricing of this subscription tier will be announced later this year.
Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, said: “ITVX will be a free service supported by adverts, with a compelling subscription proposition. This is fantastic for viewers – it will provide a simplified and seamless experience with thousands of hours of free content made up of both library and original exclusive content. The subscription tier will provide a premium offering and includes all of the content ad-free as well as BritBox and future SVOD content partners.
“We are supercharging our streaming business, fundamentally shifting our focus to think digital first, as well as optimising our broadcast channels, by continuing to attract unrivalled mass audiences. In doing so we are responding to changing viewing habits, but also the evolving needs from our advertisers,” she added.
ITV sees ‘record’ total advertising revenue for 2021
ITV also reported its total advertising revenue was up 24% year-on-year to £2.1bn, with video-on-demand advertising up 41%, the highest in its history.
The broadcaster says it is now “the largest ad funded premium streaming service in Europe” and has delivered compound annual growth in digital revenues (+28%) and digital viewing (+12%) since 2018.
Total external revenue was up 24% year-on-year to £3.45bn, the company reported in full-year financials for 2021.
McCall said it had been an “outstanding financial performance” and set targets to double digital revenues to £750m and also double streaming viewing, monthly active users and subscribers by 2026.
In its full year financial earnings release, it said: “We have a clear ambition and strategy to be a leading streamer in the UK and an expanding global force in content.”
The company also reported a 48% year on year increase in pretax profit (£480m) and a 24% increase in total group revenue to £4.04bn, helped by a 28% surge in revenue from ITV Studios to £1.76bn.