How ITV turbocharged marketing’s influence with streaming reboot

According to employees, the marketing department is being taken more seriously than prior to the launch of revamped streaming service ITVX.

ITVX MW Awards 2023
Source: ITV

In a saturated market, ITV’s streaming service found itself losing relevance. Perceived as a heritage brand for older people, ITV Hub was failing to engage younger audiences. Even employees were opting to watch rival streaming services.

Convinced ITV Hub was no longer fit for purpose, the marketers decided a total overhaul was needed, including a major shift in brand architecture. A segmentation project conducted with YouGov identified a target market of 23 million people – dubbed ‘mainstreamers’ – who felt indifferent to the ITV brand and therefore represented an opportunity for reappraisal.

Research complete, the marketers led weekly cross-functional workshops to build internal support for the revamp’s £165m price tag. The team prepped the ITVX launch, positioning the streaming service on a level footing with its broadcasting arm and adopting a cheeky tone of voice to best reflect the brand.

Viewer engagement surged, with email click-through rates up 68% on 2022 levels, push marketing open rates rising 64% and paid subscription starts increasing by 129%. The ITVX launch generated more than 48,000 mentions on social media and a reach of 1.8 billion.

According to econometrics, the launch spend proved 12% more efficient at driving consumption than the benchmark, notching up a 100% increase in marketing contribution to total streaming hours versus pre-launch. The use of econometrics helped the marketers secure a 60% increase in paid media spend.

Crucially, all employees surveyed believe marketing is taken more seriously and wields greater influence than prior to the ITVX launch, results which helped ITV scoop the 2023 Marketing Week Award for Brand Innovation.