ITV’s total advertising revenue for 2021 is expected to be the highest in studio’s history, as it reaps the rewards of hit summer shows like Love Island.
Revenue from advertising alone jumped by a third in the nine months to the end of September 2021, with July up 68 per cent, August up 24 per cent and September up 16 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.
“By any standards ITV has had an outstanding nine months. Both our Studios and Media & Entertainment businesses have performed very strongly,” ITV boss Carolyn McCall said.
Shares surged more than 10 per cent to 121.05p per share by mid-morning.
The studio has inked a five-year deal with Virgin Media O2 today, which will see Virgin TV viewers have access to ITV Hub, the studio’s online offering which currently has some 34.8m users.
The studio enjoyed a bumper summer for viewers – as Brits flocked to ITV’s channel and online offering to watch the return of dating show Love Island and the Euros.
Total external revenue was increased 28 per cent to £2.3bn, up from £1.8bn in 2020. The figure was also around eight per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.
While total ITV Studios revenue grew 32 per cent to £1.2bn – climbing past the £905m it snagged last year, and up six per cent on 2019 figures.
The studio, which has delivered Vigil for BBC One and Snowpiercer season 2 for Netflix in its third quarter, has been trying to bolster its digital offering, McCall added.
“We are becoming an increasingly scaled digital business,” the ITV boss explained, adding that online viewing has swelled by nearly 40 per cent. “Our monthly active users now stand at 9.6m, a 22 per cent increase year on year.”
Equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Sophie Lund-Yates said: “Fortune favours the bold and that’s exactly what ITV is trying to be. Its ongoing pivot to digital is gathering pace, capturing increased demand for streaming habits.
“As the world of TV changes, more and more content is needed because we now binge TV, rather than wait a week for each new episode. That trend feeds nicely into ITV’s hands, who were responsible for BBC’s Vigil, as well as a handful of Netflix names.”