In a step change to its traditional approach ITV will now adopt a digital first windowing strategy - premiering much of its new content first on ITVX and subsequently months later on ITV linear channels.
ITVX will be the first streaming service in the UK to offer viewers the flexibility to access free content with ads and ad-free paid subscription, all in one place.
Viewers will now be able to stream new programme exclusives, with adverts, for free; ranging from premium ITV dramas, documentaries, US series, comedy and reality shows to blockbuster films and much, much more.
As well as “streaming first” exclusives, 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’s linear channels. The same will be true of the majority of reality series.
In the same service, subscription gives upgrade access to a premium tier where all of the free content can be viewed, without the ads, as well as a growing range of partner content, with exciting announcements to follow in due course.
Subscribers will also have access to BritBox which showcases the biggest streaming collection of UK series from BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 and includes exclusives such as Classic Doctor Who. BritBox has recently surpassed 733,000 subscribers, ahead of all business plan targets showing the popularity of the brand.
Until the launch of ITVX later this year, ITV Hub will continue to be the free streaming home of ITV, with ongoing plans to scale up the amount of content on the service in the run up to ITVX launch. ITV Hub currently has 4,000 hours of content while ITVX will have around 15,000 hours at launch.
BritBox will remain the standalone subscription home of the best of British content including originals Why Don’t They Ask Evans? and The Dry, until later this year, when the content on ITV Hub and BritBox come together in what will be the new streaming home of ITV, ITVX.
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Managing Director of Media and Entertainment said: “Viewing habits are changing rapidly and ITV has exciting plans which we are announcing today to really scale up our streaming ambitions, offering viewers a service with more fresh, free content dropping every week than anywhere else...
“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 know we 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.”
ITVX launches later this year, with an exact date to be announced in due course.