ITVX set to smash streaming record despite summer slowdown

ITVX set to smash streaming record despite summer slowdown
'Vanishing Act': true story of Melissa Caddick, played by Kate Atkinson (Image credit: ITV)

ITV is on course to greatly improve on last year’s streaming numbers despite usage on ITVX showing a slowdown in recent months.

Streams on ITVX appear to have slowed over the spring and summer months, according to new figures released by the broadcaster.

ITV announced that ITVX had reached 2 billion streams this week, having reached 1 billion streams on Easter Sunday this year (101 days after 8 December). That means it took ITVX more than 30 days longer to achieve its second billion (133 days).

2022 was ITV’s most successful year for streaming, with 1.9 billion streams across the whole 12 months, with the vast majority of activity recorded on ITV’s predecessor ITV Hub. Given that ITVX has now achieved 2 billion streams since launching on 8 December, last year’s record could be matched as soon as next month.

ITV did not comment on what accounts for the slowdown. Possible factors include tough comparables, with ITVX being launched during the hugely popular Fifa World Cup football tournament, consumer response to ITV’s marketing activity for the launch, and a general benefit of increased viewing during the festive period.

ITV’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2022 was streamed 146 million times across the tournament on ITVX and ITV Hub, the broadcaster announced last year. That compares to just 15 million streams for the Fifa Women’s World Cup ITV said when announcing the new figures today.

Since surpassing the 1 billion streams mark in April, ITVX hits have included Six Four and Vanishing Act (ITV said these shows brought in “millions more streams”), while perennial youth favourite Love Island has been streamed 335 million times. Last month’s Tour de France was streamed over 5 million times, a 34% increase on last year.

While overall usage per day may have slowed, the number of users on the platform is growing, according to ITV’s latest figures. From January to June this year, monthly active users grew 29% year-on-year to 12.5 million.

ITV said the new service is also attracting light viewers, which may also account for streams per day slowing down. ITV has been extremely keen to draw light TV viewers to ITVX as they have become increasingly more difficult for advertisers to reach through traditional linear TV ad buys. Viewing in that specific demographic almost doubled (up 93%) across the first six months in 2023, ITV said.

Viewers are also staying on ITVX for longer, the broadcaster said, with streaming hours up 33% to 737 million hours and a 22% increase in dwell time in the same period.

The broadcaster also won Best On Demand Service at the Edinburgh TV Awards last night, beating BBC iPlayer, Channel 4 Streaming, NOW and STV Player.

Rufus Radcliffe, MD of Streaming, said: “To be named Best On Demand Service at the prestigious Edinburgh TV Awards less than nine months since we first launched ITVX, and against such heavyweight competitors in the same category, is such an accolade for the platform and the committed team across ITV behind it.”

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