ITV exec: ‘Room for another SVoD player’

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Faz Aftab, Director of Platform Distribution at UK commercial public broadcaster ITV, has revealed that research suggests that people will pay for BritBox, the SVoD joint venture between the BBC and ITV, and that there is room for another SVoD service in the UK.

Speaking at a London event on ‘Content and commissioning strategies for the new world order’ organised by Ampere Analysis, Aftab said that such a service had to be “niche and differentiated and represent something that you were not going to be able to buy elsewhere.”

She said that ITV also found that if content did well on air, it does well everywhere. “If things do well on air, they do well on demand. If things do well on air on broadcast, or DSAT or DTT, they do well on IP as well. What we find is that content generally, if people are talking about it, if people are watching it, it will do well on linear, but it will do well on demand, on IP as well.”

In terms of the UK domestic market, Aftab said that research showed there is a “strong case”  to have a “big” SVoD service that is UK-centric. She noted that SVoD take-up had increased. “People buy more than one SVoD service. There’s 18 million SVoD subscriptions in the UK and the average person takes 1.4 subscriptions. There is room for one big domestic service. Every geography that needs to do this should launch one big domestic service,” she declared. “In your home market, you need a big service because it makes sense. And it also makes sense if you do that through collaboration.”

She said that [connected TV service] Freeview Play was a “really good example” of collaboration in the world of free-to-air. “I look at the amount of reach that we have got through that for our free-to-air service and how fundamentally strong free-to-air TV is in the UK and you look at some of those things; this is what worked well in Freeview Play and ‘lift and shift’ some of those things into different business models, there’s a reason SVoD would work in the UK and all our research shows that it will.”


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