Blog Post

ITV.com Video Audience Falling; Way Behind Biggest Rival

The number of people using ITV.com‘s live and catchup web TV offering is falling – even though the broadcaster aims to more than triple its online revenue in the next two years. Around two million views of full TV shows and clips were clocked up in January – 200,000 fewer than in November, according to ITV (LSE: ITV) figures mentioned in The Guardian. Contrast that with the 11 million TV and 15.9 million radio shows streamed or downloaded via BBC iPlayer in January.

ITV beat iPlayer to market when it intro’d its web player in last year’s turnaround strategy, stating its intention to raise online income from last year’s £47 million to £150 million by 2010. That plan focuses on targeted web video ads and video syndication to third parties but, without raising viewer numbers, the task looks difficult indeed. While BBC’s web VOD offering uses ubiquitous Flash, ITV’s streams several live channels and offers seven-day programme catch-up, but relies on Narrowstep’s more brittle combination of Windows-only technologies. The initial, easy-to-understand marketing campaign for the catch-up facility has tailed off, while iPlayer ads are currently all over TV and newspapers.

Curiously, comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) said all parts of ITV.com including Xfactor.tv, CITV.co.uk and the stuttering ITVLocal.com saw 8.1 million streams in December. A Screen Digest report this month said iPlayer accounted for 38 percent of all 2007 UK IPTV viewing thanks to a