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ITV restyles itself as ‘more than TV’

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Having recently posted six-month figures showing a 2% increase in advertising revenue and a huge 48% increase in online revenues, these figures indicate positive news for ITV heading into the second half of the year. However, England’s unexpected world cup success and continued growth of Love Island have played a key role in driving this revenue increase.

So, whilst we say goodbye to the Summer of love, can ITV maintain this growth?

ITV’s ad revenue from the retail industry is down 7.4% year-on-year, who isn’t the only industry posting declining figures compared to 2017:

  • Airlines, Travel and Holiday -14.3%
  • Food  -3.1%
  • Finance -4.4%

It is off the back of these results that ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall has launched her plans for a ‘strategic refresh’ across ITV to reduce their reliance on advertising, becoming a ‘more than TV’ proposition.

The major emphasis is on driving direct to consumer revenue, currently making up an estimated 4.4% (£41m) of total revenue with the target being at least £100m a year. This is currently made up of voting, set visits and live audiences. See figures below:

(Source: itv)

McCall announced the key to hitting this target would be the introduction of their subscription video on demand (SVOD) platform which would fall under direct to consumer. ITV has pledged £60m to fund this strategy over the next three years. With a content budget a sixth the size of Netflix, is this enough to draw people away from the established subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms?

ITV also identified 15m ‘lite viewers’, McCall believes they can win back more often through increased and improved marketing of their own content beyond on-screen media. Having witnessed the success of the likes of Google and Facebook have had from Cinema and Out-of-Home advertising, McCall believes this alongside content will be key to driving incremental audiences.

All Response Media viewpoint

ITV broadcast advertising will no doubt continue to be the key focus, where further investment in content can only be positive for advertisers. Just how successful they can be in attracting these ‘lite viewers’ is yet to be seen. Businesses will always crave guarantees on audiences and reach through sport and appointment formats such as Love Island and soaps on ITV. Can ITV move away from the perception of being an appointment to view station, with a limited schedule and station variation, which Sky can offer these viewers?

In recent years ITV has continued to focus on their broadcast proposition, however, as opposed to challenging SVOD giants such as Netflix, this announcement should see if they can challenge All4 and Sky in terms of their VOD proposition because that is likely to be where the key battleground for share will be moving forward.