UK commercial public service broadcaster ITV has launched ITV Essentials, a new international service giving expatriates and holidaymakers the opportunity to watch their favourite ITV soaps while abroad.
The service, created in partnership with OTT management and delivery specialist Saffron Digital, launches in 12 European territories and will be available for a monthly subscription of €5.49 at www.itvessentials.co.uk.
ITV Essentials will stream all episodes of Britain’s favourite soaps – Coronation Street and Emmerdale – without ads and will include a 30 day catch up window. The service will initially be available to PCs and laptops only, with iPhone and iPad apps “coming soon” according to ITV.
ITV Essentials is part of ITV’s ongoing strategy to test new business models and deliver content to viewers in new and exciting ways as well as to drive new revenue streams by exploiting content across multiple platforms.
ITV’s Controller of Pay and Distribution, Neale Dennett, described the launch as “a landmark deal” for the broadcaster. Saffron Digital’s President, Jason Keane the service was an elegant solution to finding ways to reach more soap fans across Europe. “ITV have really raised the bar with this initiative and we are thrilled to be the launch partner on this unique service.”
Using its MainStage video platform, Saffron Digital has designed and developed the service for simultaneous launch in the 12 different territories (Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Gibraltar, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain). The end to end solution, which includes DRM, a secure player, international geo-blocking and filtering, as well as payment and subscription management, will enable ITV to deliver a seamless experience to its viewers throughout Europe.