ITV Chooses Platforms Over Online Aggregators
Following the arrival of new chief executive Adam Crozier and the completion of an internal review, UK broadcaster ITV has shifted its distribution strategy for online catch-up service ITV Player up a gear.
It has dismissed plans to launch its online catch-up service onto SeeSaw and Hulu and will instead concentrate on signing deals with platform partners.
"We have no plans to launch onto any online-only aggregators," says Ben McOwen Wilson director of online and interactive at ITV. "You can expect us to make a move onto consoles, integrated TVs, set-top boxes, and mobile."
An article in national newspaper The Telegraph claims Hulu has abandonded its plans to pact with UK broadcasters. Channel Four and Five have already signed syndication deals with YouTube and SeeSaw.
ITV has signalled its intent to debut on free to air satellite service Freesat in the middle of the year. It currently has carriage on Virgin Media and BT Vision generating a combined total of 29m for the first three months of this year.
ITV.com video views grew from 85m in 2008 to 215m last year and revenues rose 33% to £24m.
"We want strong control over ITV branded environments, ad formats used and the ad load to which our content is exposed," says McOwen Wilson.
ITV is also keen to hook into BSkyB's Sky Player and indeed any platform such as Virgin Media's which supports dynamic advertising delivery.
"We will seek to integrate advertising around our content on any platform which delivers dynamic advertising," he says. "We understand the advertising market arguably more than Virgin does so there's an opportunity to work together."
Latest figures from BBC iPlayer show that traction on non-PC platforms is growing. Of its total 116 million requests to view in February 2010, 18% came from Virgin Media, 5% from PS3 and over 3% (and growing) from the Wii and iPhone.