Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ITV Goes For Mixed Model

ITV's introduction of a mixed model of ad free rental alongside its existing ad supported streams shows how the market is maturing, but comes an ironic six years after my company at the time offered the opportunity for them to do this (we had already set up and were running their nationwide ITV Local operation).

Instead they decided that they would build a new platform in house and start from scratch. By now the platform works by and large (although I have pointed that the ad serving is done at much too high a data rate, but this may well be outside their control). And the single most annoying aspect of the service is the length of the ad breaks, which seem fine on TV but literally make me switch off on a tablet device.

One interesting question is if ITV will support HDMI out on Apple devices with the paid for service - currently you cannot project the content onto a big screen from a tablet (possibly due to contractual reasons)?

The pricing seems to be in the 49 - 99p range, so payment collection should be interesting - will they run user accounts, or will each payment need to be processed? In my experience, the latter always dampens demand.

The intention to allow user to pay for shows before their broadcast airing is another interesting angle that has worked in certain other markets.

Still, I can't help thinking that it's a confusing time to be an ITV customer. Choice is a great thing, but the company is taking on more mature and integrated models such as Sky's and will have to be careful that it doesn't cannibalise itself too badly in the process.