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ITV reveals new entertainment plan

ITV has revealed a plan to hunt for tea-time entertainment formats which have the potential to go viral, in a bid to revive the channel’s “anonymous” early evening schedules.

ITV’s Head of Entertainment, Shu Green, used the example of James Corden’s successful US format, The Late Late Show, and its “Carpool Karaoke” segment which has transitioned seamlessly to online as short, shareable content. This forms part of ITV’s wider strategy to create a new identity and use teatime entertainment as a method of locking in evening family time.

All Response Media Viewpoint

ITV’s strategy to use the teatime slot as a gateway to retention of the lucrative, late-peak audience is common sense, and signals a desire to return to a model of family viewing. They hope the short video viewing will draw younger members of the family into linear content output.

However, the challenge will lie in making the linear offering worthy of their attention span for a 30 or 60 minute slot while also meeting the entertainment desires of older children and their parents. Without versatile content, separate screen viewing will continue to prevail.

It is no secret that youth TV audiences are in decline: TV viewing minutes of 16-24 year olds fell by 25% year-on-year between 2014 and 2015 (Source: BARB/Thinkbox 2015). Multiscreen homes mean millennials are no longer at the mercy of mum or dad having control of the remote. In fact, 91% of 16-24 year-olds have their own smartphone or tablet providing them with an unlimited range of short and long video content. Additionally, 84% of 16-24 year-olds watch at least one online video per day. However, this is not to say linear TV is redundant to them. According to the 2015 Deloitte Media Consumer Survey, linear TV makes up 31% of their daily media consumption, surpasses the time they spend online and plays a vital role in the media mix.

The online success of “Carpool Karaoke” boils down to one thing: the content is good and worth sharing. YouTube plays a much bigger part in its success story than the linear offering. The most popular “Carpool”, featuring Lady Gaga, gained 39M YouTube views, whilst broadcasts of The Late Late Show averages just 1.3M adults on CBS America. If ITV wants to emulate this, the content must be exciting and original enough to gain organic online traction, and explicitly fuel ratings for their linear offerings.

ITV’s efforts at creating better links between on and offline content can only be a positive for clients who are looking to target younger audiences in particular.

Adopting a media neutral ‘all screen’ approach to TV planning – as we do at All Response – allows us to measure efficiency regardless of device or platform. With pressures on availability and pricing on linear channels, the expansion into online video environments allows us to scale our clients’ budgets at speed whilst at the same time ensuring we are meeting and exceeding the KPIs required.