ITV says that Online, Pay & Interactive is playing an increasingly important part in its business as a 30% increase grew the division to £153 million in 2014.
The commercial broadcaster saw video on demand viewing up rise by 26% as the distribution of ITV Player was increased across new platforms, most recently Windows Phone 8 and Amazon Kindle Fire. “If you look at the performance of YouView it’s now in 1.8 million homes versus the million of last year and our viewing requests on YouView are up 88% year-on-year,” said ITV chief executive Adam Crozier, explaining that online was helping build a database that already contains 8 million registered users.
Crozier said it would take between two to four years to find a way of measuring viewing from the new platforms, which although only representing 3 minutes and 30 seconds of weekly viewing time, was eroding shares in the major channels. “We take the opinion that the screen is a screen and a view is a view and although we say that viewing has gone down a little bit it doesn’t include viewing on all these devices.”
The relaunch of ITV2 and new launch ITVbe have gone some way to compensate for the overall drop in viewing share to the ITV family of channels.
On Retransmission fees Crozier said the government and Ofcom reviews was all the broadcaster could ask for and it was clear to him that the UK production industry was dependent on the PSBs creating and ordering original content.