With a new Spotify-style streaming network, ITV is stepping up its goals in the already saturated pay-TV industry.
ITVX, which is expected to start later this year, will allow users to view shows for free with advertisements or upgrade to an ad-free subscription. ITV Hub, the broadcaster’s current streaming platform, will be included into the new platform, and members will have access to BritBox, the broadcaster’s relationship with the BBC. ITVX, according to CEO Carolyn McCall, will “supercharge” ITV’s streaming aspirations.
As it aims to pivot from TV catch-up to appointment viewing, the broadcaster expects to invest £180 million in new programs especially for the new service over the next two years.
“We’re competing for eyeballs with everyone, including games,” McCall said. “We need to attract viewers and keep them coming back,” says the producer.
Every week, the new platform will have a premiere. A Spy Among Friends, starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, and Nolly, starring Helena Bonham Carter, are two new films. They’ll air six to nine months later on mainstream television. Every week, the new platform will have a premiere. A Spy Among Friends, starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, and Nolly, starring Helena Bonham Carter, are two new films. They’ll air six to nine months later on mainstream television.
ITVX would begin with 15,000 hours of content, compared to 4,000 on Hub, and TV controller Kevin Lygo predicted that the platform will become a “destination,” placing it on par with Netflix and iPlayer.
McCall also lauded the attractiveness of ITVX’s “fast channel”: quasi-playlists of TV shows that tailor episodes according to viewers’ preferences. ‘Hell’s Kitchen US,’ ‘True Crime,’ ‘The Oxford Detectives,’ ’90s Favourites,’ and ‘The Chase’ are just a few examples.
In addition to the programme investment, set-up expenditures will total £25 million. By 2026, ITV expects income from the new service to cover expenses and investment.
The launch was announced as ITV achieved “outstanding financial results,” according to McCall. Last year, revenue increased by 24% to £3.4 billion, while pre-tax earnings nearly quadrupled to £480 million. Net debt was reduced by 24%, and ITV declared a final dividend of 3.3p per share.
The results were better than expected, and management was optimistic about the advertising market. However, the stock dropped 15.6p to 95p, a 14 percent drop.