ITV has announced plans for a new streaming service, ITVX, which will give viewers the chance to watch its shows six to nine months before they air on TV and gives the option of going ad-free.
The new ITVX platform which will launch later this year will replace the ITV Hub brand and will give subscribers the choice of watching ad-funded content free of charge, or to trade up and buy ad-free content, such as BritBox.
In a first for the group, it will premiere much of its new content on ITVX some six to nine months before it airs on traditional ITV channels.
As well as "streaming first" exclusives, subscribers can also look forward to all the drama and comedy ITV commissions being made available to watch in one go on ITVX, for free, as soon as the first episode has aired on ITV’s linear channels, as well as for the majority of reality series.
New shows set to stream on ITVX include A Spy Among Friends starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, Nolly starring Helena Bonham Carter, Confessions of Frannie Langton starring Karla-Simone Spence, Sophie Cookson and Patrick Martins, Lenny Henry’s six-part drama The Little Birds and Litvinenko starring David Tennant, as well as a feature film-length finale for comedy Plebs.
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: "We are supercharging our streaming business, fundamentally shifting our focus to think digital first, as well as optimising our broadcast channels, by continuing to attract unrivalled mass audiences."
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Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, said: "Our broadcast channels are very important to what we do, and we are still focused on delivering what ITV does better than anyone in commercial TV - creating programmes that bring audiences together - in-the-moment, in their millions, for that shared viewing, scheduled TV experience.
"However we know we have to deliver our programmes to as many people as possible in all the ways they want to watch them, and going forward viewers will now see a wide array of shows premiering first on ITVX, which is the cornerstone of ITV’s digital acceleration."
Currently, ITV offers free streamed content on ITV Hub or an ad-free subscription service, Britbox, which includes content from the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5, too.
When ITVX launches later this year it will combine the two services, with tiers of subscriptions based on whether viewers want ad-free content.
ITV also confirmed that it has stopped Russian broadcasters from airing its shows, with the country previously having access to I’m A Celebrity and Come Dine With Me, which is produced by ITV Studios.
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