Adam Crozier, the ITV chief executive, revealed that ITV2 reality show The Only Way Is Essex gets as many viewers online as it does for its TV broadcast. He said almost half of those watching the show on TV are also using Facebook or Twitter at the same time.
However, Crozier used the show as an example of how some programmes perform better than others online in what was otherwise a defence of traditional TV viewing.
Speaking at the Guardian Media Summit, he said the “more telling” industry change last year was TV viewing rising to record levels. He said online catch-up viewing, spearheaded in the UK by the BBC’s iPlayer, accounts for just 6 per cent of all TV viewing, while on-demand equates to just 1 per cent.
Crozier said ITV would begin to serve viewers in a “platform neutral” way and invest in online video. ITV’s long-awaited micropayments platform will be unveiled later this year, he added.
Crozier added that ITV wants to look at commercial opportunities around “non-linear viewing”, including social media such as Twitter and Facebook, mobile viewing and the rise in online viewing.