ITVX celebrates its first birthday on 8 December. ITV claims 2.7 billion streams in the first year since the online video service was relaunched. It is a big number but what does it really mean? Interestingly, ITVX is not simply pursuing popularity. Laudably, ITV is also going to launch 12 regional news services through the online platform, as well as a ‘pop up’ news channel.
In the first half of 2023, ITV reported total online viewing hours increased 33% to 737 million hours. That is hours, not streams.
In 2022, mainly before the launch of ITVX, ITV reported a total of 1,139 million streaming hours. The year before it was 1,048 million hours. ITV may report the total number of hours streamed in 2023 in its annual report.
However, ITV does say that streaming hours for men increased by over 100 million in the year to 1 billion, which it says is another new record for ITV.
So how does that compare to other services? Well, the BBC iPlayer claimed 7.3 billion streams for 2022-23. The BBC does not report that directly in terms of hours, although according to Barb measurements it is less than an hour per person per week. We are told that 50.4 million hours are week are delivered through the BBC iPlayer, which simple maths suggests is about 2.6 billion hours a year.
ITVX says it has more than 40 million registered users, which is not bad for a country of approaching 68 million people. We are not told how many of them are active users. However, in June, ITV reported that had 12.5 million monthly active users. That compares to 10.5 million in 2022, and 9.9 million in 2021.
For comparison, the BBC reports 13.4 million active iPlayer accounts in an average week.
It seems that Love Island is the most popular programme on ITVX, with 340 million streams. That is well ahead of Big Brother, with 38 million streams over 36 episodes.
ITV says that over 200 programmes have been watched by more than a million ITVX viewers.
In its first week, the latest series of I’m a Celebrity… was requested over 20 million times, which was up by more than 3 million on the same period the previous year. The opening programme had consolidated 7-day viewing figures of 10.24 million, including online viewers.
Coming up on ITVX will be a new pause ad format, new advertising and sponsorship opportunities, regionalised news across 12 regions, and an occasional news channel when there is a major news event.
Describing the first year of ITVX as a “runaway success,” Rufus Radcliffe, the managing director of streaming at ITV, said: “2024 will see us focus on further increased distribution, even more and improved commercial opportunities, an abundance of regional news offerings and of course even more exclusive, fresh and exciting content for free.”