Hub VOD push under way as ITV sets out to collaborate to compete | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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As she almost literally followed Tony Hall to the podium at RTS London, ITV chief executive, Carolyn McCall issued a similar warning as the BBC DG as to what her company had to do to fend off commercial competitin from the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

McCall pinpointed the American SVOD giants as true rivals in terms of time viewers spend watching content, and also adverts, and noted that the key task for ITV would be to offer the best programme for right audiences that go to make up the broadcaster’s viewership whether using linear services or, increasingly, its Hub online video platform. This she said meant a new way of working.

“ITV signifies to people it is accessible – off them,” she commented. “It’s not patrician in any way. The audience perception is that we are trusted lie a cup of tea on a cold winter’s night. But we want to be seen as innovative and meeting people’s needs. We are a very creative brand [but] we need to make changes in strategy where it matters all about change in viewers and advertisers.”

As she set out her plans to combat the threat from online video players, McCall revealed that the strategy would be one where ITV would collaborate to compete. She noted that the company had just inked a deal with Netflix to show ITV Studios blockbuster drama Bodyguard and that Google was a partner on search if not a rival on content through YouTube TV.

Yet McCall called on the UK government ad regulators to act on what she and other heads of UK broadcasters felt was a double standard applied to the American giants when it came to regulation. “I’m not whingeing about Netflix and Amazon — they are there, they improve people’s lives. But you need to ensure that everyone is regulated [in the same way]. Google self-regulates – it’s a bit disparity [compared with UK broadcasters]. You need to regulate content for different age groups, and in ads. ITV can’t run some [content] but the same rule does not apply to them. A lot of [SVOD content] is programmatic and targeted but people don’t know what ads could be served [and when].

Looking at the specific moves that ITV would be making, McCall said that there was an urgency to act. She revealed that the UK SVOD service that ITV would be launching would most certainly not be a British Netflix and that the company needed to play to its strengths. “Research has shown that there is a demand for British content that people have missed, and that people would pay for it. The ITV Hub will become much more than catch-up and SVOD is a very different type of business. The Hub has a decent technology platform but doesn’t have [all] the functionality and user experience that we want – that would be somewhere between the iPlayer and Hulu.”