ITVX delivers double-digit growth in streaming hours and ad revenue

The streaming service outperformed the broadcaster’s studio arm, amid wider plans to invest an additional £15m in marketing this year.

ITV streaming platform ITVX enjoyed a “strong” performance in the first quarter of 2024, as the number of hours streamed on the platform increased 16% versus the same period last year.

Speaking to investors today (9 May), ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said the streaming platform, which launched in late 2022, “continued to build on its strong first year” in the three months ending 31 March. 

ITVX generated 14% year-over-year growth in digital ad revenues in the quarter. McCall said the broadcaster expects to continue to see the service grow in the coming year, supported by “further developments in content, product, distribution and marketing”.

In March, the broadcaster committed to spend an additional £15m on marketing during 2024, describing this investment as a vital tool for attracting viewers to ITVX.

ITV also said it would pursue a more “responsive” approach to its marketing to ensure it is highlighting popular programmes to the most valuable audiences.

Digital ad revenue growth generated by ITVX was well above total advertising revenue growth in the quarter, which was just 3%. However, total advertising revenue growth is up on last year, where it saw an 8% decline.

ITV to step up marketing spend by £15m in 2024

Going into the second quarter, ITV is seeing “good momentum” on advertising revenue. The broadcaster expects total ad revenue n the second quarter to be up 12% year-over-year, bolstered in particular by the Euros, which start next month.

Across the first half of 2024, ITV expects advertising revenues to be up 8% versus the same period last year.

Despite experiencing growth in its streaming platform and advertising revenues, the broadcaster’s production arm performed much less well in the quarter. Revenues were down 16% year-over-year, something ITV attributed to actors’ and writers’ strikes, as well as “the phasing” of delivering programmes.

McCall confirmed ITV Studios’ revenues are expected to be broadly flat over the full year.

“We have a strong pipeline of programmes, good demand for our quality content as we increasingly diversify our customer base towards streamers and the phasing of deliveries is heavily weighted to the second half of the year,” she said.

Total revenue was down 7% at £887m from £952m a year prior, with growth in total advertising revenue offset by the decline in ITV Studios revenue.

McCall indicated ITV’s group savings programme is “on course” and expected to save the broadcaster £40m this year.