ITV is ditching the much-maligned ITV Hub streaming portal, with a new app and website called ITVX launching later this year.
The ITVX platform will offer free ad-supported subscriptions and a paid subscription model that will include access to extra programming, from the ITV/BBC joint streaming service Britbox.
The broadcaster says this is the first UK subscription service to combine the ad-supported and subscription models under one roof.
ITV says it will drop some series up to nine months before they launch on television and plans to follow the Netflix model of making all episodes of new dramas available at once. ITV says there’ll be exclusive new series launching online every week, with access to plenty of ITV’s vast archive of content, from Corrie to Love Island.
Those new series will include A Spy Among Friends, starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, Nolly starring Helena Bonham Carter, Confessions of Frannie Langton starring Karla-Simone Spence, Sophie Cookson and Patrick Martins. Elsewhere, Lenny Henry’s six part drama The Little Birds and Litvinenko starring David Tennant are also coming first to ITVX.
In even better news, ITV has struck a deal with WarnerMedia, which will bring some quality American TV – including some HBO Max-exclusive shows – like The Sex Lives of College Girls and All American. The transatlantic invasion will also include The OC, One Tree Hill, The 100, Supernatural and Veronica Mars.
ITV also says there’ll be a selection of 150 films available to stream for free at any given time, with 500 coming in the first year after launch. ITVX will also include up to 20 themed channels, including pop-ups, while it’ll remain a location to tune into live TV events like live football or Love Island.
Let’s hope ITV is investing properly in the infrastructure, because ITV Hub has been little short of an embarrassment in recent years. There’s no mention of 4K content as part of today’s announcement either.
In a press release, Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Managing Director of Media and Entertainment said: “Our broadcast channels are very important to what we do, and we are still focused on delivering what ITV does better than anyone in commercial TV – creating programmes that bring audiences together – in-the-moment, in their millions, for that shared viewing, scheduled TV experience.
“However we know we have to deliver our programmes to as many people as possible in all the ways they want to watch them, and going forward viewers will now see a wide array of shows premiering first on ITVX, which is the cornerstone of ITV’s digital acceleration.”