ITV streaming service ITVX is still a way off achieving its ambitious targets, but new figures show it has made a solid start in a competitive – and increasingly complicated – market.
At its launch, ITV CMO Jane Stiller told Marketing Week she wanted ITVX to become one of the top three streaming services for consideration and that a 50% increase in media spend would help that happen. Speaking last December, Stiller outlined ambitious growth plans for ITVX in terms of subscribers and digital revenues.
According to the latest data from YouGov’s BrandIndex tool, ITVX is yet to break into the top three, but its consideration and brand awareness scores have risen strongly in the five months since it replaced ITV Hub.
Comparing BrandIndex data from November 2022, the last full month prior to the launch of ITVX, with figures from March 2023 shows ITV’s streaming service has grown its consideration score from 29.2 to 38. This sees the new brand outpacing Disney+ and All 4, rising from sixth to fourth in the rankings, which are headed by Netflix with a score of 62.6. BBC iPlayer follows with a score of 54.4, while Amazon Prime Video comes in third at 48.2.
Awareness has grown too. ITVX has moved up two places in the awareness charts after increasing its score from 77.7 to 81.5, bypassing All 4 and Now TV. In terms of ad awareness, the big spending has clearly paid off. ITVX has leapfrogged to the top of that chart with a score of 27.7, nudging all of its rivals down a peg. In November, its ad awareness score was just 13.3. ITV to raise media spend by 50% in 2023 to grab ‘big opportunity’ for ITVX
ITVX also shows improvements in its index score, which denotes overall brand health, increasing 6.4 points to 19.9. This puts it ahead of Now TV (at 7.3), hot on the heels of All 4 (at 20.6) and just 4.7 points behind Disney+. Further up the leaderboard, BBC’s iPlayer has seen a sharp dip in its brand health, falling by 4.3 points to 33.4. Netflix leads with an index score of 39.1.
The figures come at a time of churn for the streaming sector. Late last year, Kantar reported that nearly a million UK households had cancelled digital subscriptions as the cost of living crisis bit into their bank balances.
Yet as the crisis has played out further, some consumers have clearly found that streaming can take the sting out of being stuck in the house and help them to avoid spending more elsewhere.
According to the March UK Consumer Spending Report from Barclays, spending on digital content and subscriptions rose by 4.1% last month. It attributes this in part to the latest seasons of popular shows such as Succession, Ted Lasso and The Mandalorian, but also notes a trend to cut back on trips to restaurants and some other out-of-home entertainments.
Further change is on the way. Channel 4 is to ditch the All 4 branding, launched seven years ago, to put all of its channels, digital and otherwise, under the Channel 4 brand from this spring. The broadcaster is seeking to focus on digital growth in line with its plans to be a digital-first company by 2025.
It remains to be seen how investment from other brands will impact the development of ITVX. It seems likely that any future gains in the streaming marketing will be hard-fought, as the rival players keep their eyes on the prizes to be won.