ITV Player to charge for content

ITV have announced that from the start of next year, some content on the ITV Player will be charged for

July 27, 2011

ITV have announced that from the start of next year some content on the ITV Player will be charged for.

The news came during a report on company earnings, when Adam Crozier, chief executive of the UK’s biggest FTA (Free To Air) broadcaster, announced further changes to the company.

After suffering losses at the start of the recession, not least due to falling advertising revenues, Crozier has since put ITV on a 5-year Transformation Plan to rebuild itself.

He said: “We’re investing in the quality and reach of our online offering. We’re making ITV Player more widely available, most recently on Android and Apple devices and Freesat.

“We plan to have a pay mechanism in place around the turn of the year so that we can test what viewers are willing to pay for, and we continue to work with our partners on YouView, which is on track for launch early next year.”

ITV reported a small increase in revenues of 4%, and also a doubling of profits to £181 million for the six months to date, after facing down one-off charges last year.

While the prospect of micropayments was envisioned as eventually commonplace during the dotcom boom years, it is a system that has not been widely tried out.

However, as ITV also provides some Pay Per View content, the issue of micropayments could be considered an extension of this and consumers may be more willing to accept it than in other industries.

The 900lb gorilla in the room, however, are illegal uploads of TV content, from YouTube to torrents to streaming TV sites.

How successfully ITV can roll out micropayments for the ITV Player is almost certainly going to be dependent on how well the company can protect its copyright online.


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