The leading commercial broadcaster in the United Kingdom has 33.6 million registered user accounts to its ITV Hub online service, up by 1.6 million on the same time the previous year. Online viewing in the first quarter of 2021 was down 11% on the same period in 2020. That was largely due to the loss of Love Island in January and February. Otherwise, online viewing would have been up 23%, but it still accounts for only a small minority of total ITV viewing.
Total viewing on ITV Hub in the first quarter of 2021 was 149 million hours. That compares to 4.52 billion hours of viewing of ITV viewing, including watching at the time of transmission, recorded and viewed within 28 days, on ITV Hub and ITV Hub+, and on third-party video on demand platforms. So online represented just over 3% of total ITV viewing.
ITV counts a registered ITV Hub user account as an individual viewer who has signed up to the ITV Hub using one email address and has been active within the last three years.
Simply dividing online viewing hours by the number of registered user accounts gives just over 20 minutes viewing per week for each account. That can be compared to about 5 hours and 45 minutes a week watching ITV, averaged across all individuals in the United Kingdom.
ITV continues to invest in its online offering. It has announced a new ‘on-demand first’ commissioning strategy for the ITV2, ITVBe and CITV brands to increase its appeal to younger and lighter audiences.
The company is also commissioning original productions for the BritBox online video subscription service, which is now also available as an Amazon Prime Video channel.
BritBox is available in the United States, Canada and Australia, and is due to launch in South Africa in the summer. ITV has not provided subscriber numbers but wrote of “continued growth”.
At the end of 2020, ITV had 2.6 million subscriptions across its online video services globally, up by 50% over the year.