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Future of TV ITV Media

ITV digital ad revenue up 20% with record viewers logging on to the Hub


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

July 28, 2022 | 4 min read

ITV has said it is performing ahead of expectations after reporting “significant revenue growth” of 8% to £1.68bn in the half year leading up to June 30. Notably, total advertising revenue rose 5%.


With the launch of ITVX, the business expects subscriptions to make up around 10% of its revenue in the coming years

The UK commercial broadcaster released its financial results on Thursday morning, saying its content, data and technology investments are “already bearing fruit,” as evidenced by its digital ad revenue rising 20%. “Record levels” on the ITV Hub drove this. Its programmatic ad buying platform Planet V now has 1,500 professional users, up from 1,200 in March. In the first half of the year, it helped attract 192 new digital-only advertisers to ITV.

On the ITV Hub, streams were up 8% to 814 million during the first half of 2022. It puts this down to a “strengthened streaming offering.”

With the back end of the year predicted for a decline forecasted by experts and exhibited by tech company ad revenue earnings this week, from a strong start ad revenue did slump throughout the year, down by 9% in May and 13% in June. An absent World Cup (usually in the summer) is scheduled for the winter, which should bump up that period.

On the call, ITV chief executive officer Carolyn McCall said: “You can’t avoid the cost-of-living energy prices. The macro uncertainty. I think everyone is mindful as though we have an impending slowdown of some sort. But that’s not showing in our numbers.”

Speaking on the benefits of the World Cup: “Q4 is a hugely buoyant quarter, it’s usually our strongest quarter. So we would have been full anyway. From a revenue perspective it’s not going to be bigger than before because the advertising would have come in for Christmas anyway ... only have a finite amount of inventory and we have a finite number of minutes.” She added that it was great to have the event and it will help ensure a prosperous period, even if its effects are less felt in an already busy window.

Outside of the ad business and on the production side, total ITV Studios revenue rose 16% to £927. Its Media and Entertainment (M&E) revenue accounted for £1.06bn, up 4%.

McCall added: “Despite the tough comparators of last summer, when the Euros and a rebounding economy drove record advertising revenues, TAR is expected to be broadly flat in the nine months to the end of September. We are mindful of the macroeconomic uncertainty; however, we have for the first time ever in Q4 the football World Cup to look forward to.”

Furthermore, she added that the business is “on track against all the new KPIs and targets we announced earlier this year as part of the second phase of our More Than TV strategy, and we are very focused on successfully launching ITVX, our new free ad-funded streaming service, in Q4 this year.”

With the launch of ITVX and the continuation of ITV Hub, ITV Hub+, Planet V and BritBox, the business expects subscriptions to make up around 10% of its revenue in the coming years. At the moment, total UK subscribers are up 16% to 1.45 million compared to December 31 2021, and BritBox international subscribers are up 13% to 2.7 million.

The ITVX streaming platform is set to launch in Q4 2022 in sync with the World Cup.

It comes after the business boasted record growth in March. Meanwhile, Channel 4 last week issued a strong defense against privatization, with some encouraging recorded results too.

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