ITV’s new revamped streaming service is set to launch during a seven week window this autumn, ahead of the World Cup.
The broadcaster says it is “successfully working with distribution partners” to ensure ITVX is available on as many platforms and streaming devices as possible when it launches. Platforms will include Freeview Play, Freesat and Virgin Media among others.
Originally announced as launching “later this year”, ITVX is now set to launch during a seven week window between early October and 21st November, when the World Cup starts. The World Cup is seen as a key metric for ITV’s online performance. The broadcaster previously reported surges in online viewing during Euro 2020.
ITVX rolls ITV Hub, ITV Hub+ and BritBox UK on to one platform. Users will be able to choose from a free ad-supported version or a premium option. The premium option will include ad-free on-demand content and the full ITVX content library. The platform will include 20 FAST channels – ad-supported linear channels – on top of its library of on-demand programmes. ITV is also bringing in third-party content from WarnerMedia to boost its content library. And a some programmes will appear on ITVX up to nine months before they’re broadcast on ITV.
Online growth ahead of ITVX launch
Ahead of the launch of ITVX, ITV has uploaded over 6,000 hours of content across its existing platforms, according to ITV’s latest financial results. Much of this content will carry across to ITVX in the autumn.
Meanwhile, total streaming hours across ITV Hub and BritBox UK were up 8% in the first quarter of 2022.
The increase is despite ITV’s decision to reduce the availability of pre-transmission drama drops and box sets outside of its own streaming services. These include Sky and Virgin Media, where it cannot serve and monetise dynamic advertising. The new ITVX app will be able to reach Sky Q and Virgin Media audiences more directly.
ITV is counting on ITVX to deliver £750m in digital revenue by 2026.