ITV’s free-to-air streaming platform ITVX is set to launch in the final quarter of this year as subscription costs to services such as Netflix rattle consumers
- The free ITVX streaming platform will launch later this year, ITV says
- ITV today released its latest revenue and advertising revenue figures for the first half of the year
ITV is pinning its hopes on its soon to be launched free streaming platform which is resonating with viewers at a time when many have been forced to drop their subscriptions.
ITVX remains on track to launch in the final quarter of this year, the group said today in its latest interim results.
The company alarmed investors in March when it announced the arrival of ITVX, a major expansion of its mainly ad-supported streaming service, backed by a content budget of £160m. Its shares fell 27% on the day of the announcement.
New service: ITVX remains on track to launch in the last quarter of this year, ITV says
ITV said ITVX would allow it to compete with competing streaming services, while the content would also be used on its linear TV channels and sold overseas.
It will be free to viewers or available with a subscription for ad-free viewing.
“As we head into tough times, that must be a compelling reason to watch it,” said ITV Studios Manager Kevin Lygo.
The group added: “With the launch of ITVX, we are confident of generating at least £750 million in digital revenue by 2026 and delivering attractive returns to shareholders.”
In its interim results for the period ending June 30, ITV said advertising has held up well so far, forecasting flat total advertising revenue for the nine-month period, despite a tough comparison to the Euros football tournament. from last year.
Digital ad sales increased by 20% thanks to record levels of streaming on the ITV hub.
He also expects to receive a boost from the World Cup in November and December.
The company recorded an increase in its half-yearly pre-tax statutory profit of £219m, from £133m a year ago.
Total external revenue jumped 8% to £1,679m, while total ITV Studios revenue rose 16% to £927m, with growth across the business.
Boss Carolyn McCall said the group had yet to see any impact from the weakening economic outlook.
“In terms of the near-term advertising outlook, we are, as you would expect, very mindful of UK macro factors and also geopolitical uncertainty,” McCall said.
“However, to date, we have not seen any material impact.”
On the dividend front, ITV declared an interim dividend of 1.7p, with its board committing to pay a total dividend of at least 5p for the full year.
After years of stagnant real wage growth and with double-digit inflation expected later this year, Britons are bracing for the tightest economic pressure since the 1950s. Market data showed many canceled subscriptions to music services and TV sites to save money.
Netflix, which also competes with Disney and Apple, is launching a low-cost, ad-supported version to slow subscriber growth.
ITV-Shares rose today and rose 3.16% or 2.26p to 73.68p this morning, after falling more than 37% last year.
Victoria Scholar, chief investment officer at Interactive Investor, said: ‘This is a happier update from ITV than in March when it announced ITVX, sending shares down more than 25% this that day.
“Nevertheless, ITV has reaffirmed its commitment to ITVX, saying it is confident it will deliver attractive returns to shareholders.
“While its revenue numbers and forecasts look good, its bottom line still showed a decline in an uncertain macroeconomic environment. But the World Cup at the end of the year should act as a tailwind during the last quarter of the year.
ITV’s share price has struggled since peaking in June last year, losing nearly half its value, despite recent attempts to recover from lows.