British television network ITV confirmed its new streaming service is set to launch later this year after revenue jumped 18 per cent.
ITV today revealed revenue climbed to £834m in the first quarter of the year, up from £709m over the same period in 2021.
The Love Island creator said the results put it on track to launch ITVX – a new in-house streaming service – in the final few months of the year.
In preparation for launch ITV has grown its streaming library by 50 per cent, from 4,000 to 6,000 hours of content. The a deal with Warner content to provide titles including The OC, One Tree Hill and The Sex Lives of College Girls on its streaming service.
ITV’s plans to launch a streaming service come amid fierce competition between industry heavyweights Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. When ITV first lifted the lid on its plans to launch a streaming service in March the market reacted poorly and shares slid by as much as 25 per cent after the announcement.
Despite boosting its offering ITV revealed that streaming hours declined by seven per cent over the first quarter of the year as it lost out to competitors.
ITV ended the period with net debt of £435m and liquidity of £1.4bn, comprised of cash and undrawn facilities.
Commenting on ITV’s strategy, Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “ITV is betting on streaming and its studio productions, as traditional advertising revenue becomes harder to come by in the digital age. That will become an even bigger challenge in the face of economic turmoil. As Netflix has shown us though, streaming is an incredibly competitive place to be, and even the industry stalwarts are struggling.”
Though she said the market would be difficult to wrestle with, Lund-Yates said ITVX could be the “attractive option for cost-conscious consumers in the current environment”.
However, she added: “Getting any sign ups at all will require having an excellent slate of content – good is no longer good enough for today’s discerning binge-watching audiences”.
With shares dipping a mere two per cent this morning, market reaction has been much kinder compared to full year results when ITVX was first announced and a mass sell-off mounted.