ITV said it will not charge viewers to use its catch-up service ITV Player after a statement from CEO Adam Crozier led some to believe the commercial broadcaster would introduce micropayments to the platform.
Speaking about ITV’s first half results, Crozier said the company could begin testing a pay mechanism by the end of the year. “We plan to have a pay mechanism in place around the turn of the year so that we can test what viewers are willing to pay for, and we continue to work with our partners on YouView, which is on track for launch early next year,” he said.
However, ITV later made its position clear, saying: “To clarify. Catch up on ITV Player will remain free. ITV will be introducing a pay mechanism next year to trial other pay content.”
The broadcaster has seen strong growth in its new media business, with its ITV Player, which is now available on Android, Apple and Freesat, attracting 180 million video views in the first six months of the year, an increase of 64%. Online revenues increased by 33% in the first half of the year to £16 million (€18 million).
Overall, ITV reported positive results for the first half of the year as Crozier said he expected the commercial broadcaster to outperform the TV advertising market across the whole of the year. ITV posted first half revenues of £1 billion, up 4% year-on-year, with advertising up 2%.