Studios, digital drive strong ITV Q1 | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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The UK’s leading commercial broadcaster ITV has made a strong start to 2022, attributed to what it calls a robust operational and financial performance, with stand outs from the ITV Studios production powerhouse and the digital business line.
ITV logo large 19 Oct 2020
In a trading update for the quarter ended 31 March 2022, the broadcaster posted total external revenue of £834 million, up 18% year-on-year, with ITV Studio revenue increasing 23% on an annual basis to £458 million. Media & Entertainment revenue rose 13% compared with Q1 2021 to £545 million.

Total advertising revenue (TAR) grew 16% year-on-year with ITV claiming good demand across the majority of advertising sectors. January was up 15%, February up 20% and March up 15% compared with the same period in 2021. Within this digital advertising revenue remained very strong, up 27% to the end of March compared to the same period in 2021. Total non-advertising revenue for Q1 was down marginally with good growth in subscription revenue offset, said ITV, by an expected decline in SDN revenue and interactive revenues against tough comparatives in 2021.

ITV increased its share of linear viewing with ITV's share of commercial viewing (SOCV) for the three months to the end of March of 34.5%, up 0.4 percentage points compared with the same time a year ago.
Q1 was said to be particularly strong at ITV Studios thanks to a wide range of new and returning programmes and formats delivered in the UK and internationally, including a number of programmes delayed from Q4 2021. Deliveries in Q1 included Holding, Why Didn't They Ask Evans, Noughts and Crosses S2, Murder in Provence and Physical S2.
The company said that it was continuing to focus on advancing our digital innovations in ITV Studios to drive efficiencies and create a more sustainable way of working. This includes remote and cloud based editing and virtual production sets.

As it began to deliver delivering phase two of its More Than TV strategy, ITV said that it had seen acceleration in digital. Total digital revenues grew 24% in Q1 to £82 million, with strong growth in digital advertising revenues, up 27%, and subscription revenues up 37%. Total streaming hours on ITV Hub, ITV Hub+ and BritBox UK were up 8% in Q1.

Another digital highlight was said to be work carried out with ITVX, the next generation of the ITV Hub streaming platform, which is on track for Q4 2022. The company said that that it had been “successfully” working with distribution partners to ensure that ITVX will be widely available at launch.

Over time and with the launch of ITVX, the company anticipated that it would see a viewing move to ITV's streaming services and be more effectively monetised. The transitional impact of this decision has been the overriding driver of a 7% reduction in total streaming hours in the quarter, across all platforms.

The company also noted that it had made a significant increase in the content available for streaming with 6,000 hours of content, up from 4,000 at the end of December 2021. The majority of the company’s scripted programmes are now available for streaming in full at the same time as initial broadcast. This said ITV helped drive the best ever start to the year for drama viewing online with 125 million streams for the four months to the end of April, up 8% year-on-year.

Assessing the first quarter results
, ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said that the company was focused on three core drivers. “

We are growing Studios with a strong quarter and an exciting pipeline of scripted and unscripted programmes as we further diversify the business by genre, by geography and by customer and grow ahead of the market," she said. "In Media and Entertainment, we maintained the strength of our linear business where we secured 93% of the largest commercial audiences. And we are making good progress in our goal to supercharge streaming by increasing our hours of content by 50% in the quarter to 6,000 hours and making available the majority of scripted programmes in full for streaming at the same time as the initial broadcast. All of this provides a solid foundation for ITVX…and we remain confident that we will deliver at least £750 million of digital revenue by 2026.”

Going forward, Q2 2022 TAR is forecast to be down around 6% against strong comparatives in Q2 2021 when TAR was up 89% compared with 2020. H1 is expected to be up around 5% compared to the same period in 2021.