Industry / Market - UK
Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming
ITV announces new streaming service ITVX
Set to launch later this year, ITVX will be the UK’s first integrated advertising and subscription funded platform
Yesterday, British broadcaster ITV announced its new streaming service, ITVX. The platform, set to launch later this year, will be the UK’s first integrated advertising and subscription funded streaming service.
According to the official press release, ITVX will be viewer led. In detail, viewers will be able to choose “thousands of hours of content for free in an advertising funded tier or trade up to a subscription service which provides all that content ad-free” as well as “thousands more hours of British boxsets from BritBox and other partners’ content.” Moreover, ITV will adopt a digital first windowing strategy, premiering much of its new content first on ITVX and subsequently months later on its linear channels.
The offer will include “new programme exclusives, with adverts, for free; ranging from premium ITV dramas, documentaries, US series, comedy and reality shows to blockbuster films.” Moreover, “all the drama and comedy ITV commissions will be made available to viewers in one go on ITVX, for free, as soon as the first episode has aired on ITV linear channels.”
Subscribers will also have access to BritBox, which showcases the biggest streaming collection of UK series from BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 and exclusives such as classic Doctor Who. ITVX will host around 15,000 hours of content at launch, and the pricing of the subscription tier will be announced at a later stage.
Titles streaming first and for free on ITVX before landing on linear channels include A Spy Among Friends, Nolly, The Confessions of Frannie Langton, The Little Birds and Litvinenko. ITVX will also host a wide selection of US series, including the British premieres of The Sex Lives of College Girls and All American, as well as The OC, One Tree Hill and select titles such as The 100, Supernatural and Veronica Mars.
Finally, a number of blockbuster flicks will also be streamed: “500 films for free in its first year alone, with a constantly refreshed selection of titles and 150 films on the service at any one time.”
Commenting on the launch, Carolyn McCall, ITV’s Chief Executive, said: “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. This will enable ITV to continue to be both commercial viewers and advertisers’ first choice.”
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Managing Director of Media and Entertainment, added: “Our broadcast channels are very important to what we do, and we are still focused on delivering what ITV does better than anyone in commercial TV — creating programmes that bring audiences together — in-the-moment, in their millions, for that shared viewing, scheduled TV experience. However, we now have to deliver our programmes to as many people as possible in all the ways they want to watch them, and going forward viewers will now see a wide array of shows premiering first on ITVX, which is the cornerstone of ITV’s digital acceleration.”
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