ITV on course for record ad revenues after strong nine months

ITV has posted strong results for its first nine months in a trading update, with strong growth in both its media and entertainment and studios businesses.

Carolyn McCall

Total revenue was up 28% at £2,381 million and up 8% compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019. ITV said that ad revenue for the full year was now expected to be the highest in its history, up by 24%.

Media and entertainment revenue was up 26% at £1,594 million with total advertising revenue up 30%. AVOD revenue was up 54%. Total media and entertainment revenue was up 9% compared to 2019

ITV Studios revenue was up 32% at £1,193 million, and up 6% compared to 2019.

The broadcaster did particularly well in online viewing, which was up 39%, even though ITV total viewing time was down 5% compared with last year, which saw a boost in numbers from the COVID lockdown.

Monthly average users of ITV’s AVOD offering were up 22% to 9.6 million, and ITV said it was on track to double the number of hours of content available on ITV Hub over 2021

ITV has also agreed a new multi-year carriage relationship with Virgin Media which includes the full integration of the ITV Hub platform, both on Virgin Media’s existing set top boxes and new IP product. The company said that this deal, along with its new Sky agreement, will enable it to increase its digital addressable advertising inventory and deliver linear addressable advertising.

“By any standards ITV has had an outstanding nine months,” said CEO Carolyn McCall.

McCall said that ITV was “becoming an increasingly scaled digital business” and pointed to the expected record ad revenues, which she said was driven by the combination of broadcast and ITV Hub’s “mass simultaneous reach”.

She said that the studios unit had continued to “attract and support brilliant creative talent delivering significant growth in the UK and internationally” and that “revenue from streamers globally is growing very strongly” alongside the supply of content to the BBC and ITV.

“Today’s results further illustrate that ITV has successfully completed the first phase of its More Than TV strategy and is accelerating the second phase of digital transformation as we evolve our products, user experiences and ways of working,” she said.

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