ITV prepares to do battle with video streaming giants Netflix and Amazon for online viewers
ITV is preparing to take on video streaming giants Netflix and Amazon with a new service dedicated to British-made content.
Carolyn McCall, its chief executive, said it made world class programmes and was ready to take on US technology giants.
The 56-year-old said a new streaming service could be developed alone or with partners, following reports ITV was in talks with the BBC and Channel 4 about a joint proposal.
ITV has enjoyed blockbuster viewing figures for the England v Croatia World Cup football match and reality TV show Love Island (pictured)
She also announced plans to pump £60million into the business, beefing up its online presence and ability to collect customer data. This will partly be funded by up to £40million of cost savings.
McCall, the former EasyJet boss who took over in January, said she would continue predecessor Adam Crozier’s strategy to cut dependence on advertising and beef up ITV Studios, which makes programmes such as Love Island, Coronation Street, Good Morning Britain and Victoria.
She said: ‘There’s never been a better time to be a creative entertainment company, with viewers’ appetite higher than ever for quality.
‘We are well placed to take advantage of this opportunity. ITV will be more than TV. This is very much a refresh, not a reboot.’
The mother-of-three was speaking after the broadcaster celebrated blockbuster viewing figures for the England v Croatia World Cup football match and reality TV show Love Island.
It contributed to an 8 per cent rise in revenue to £1.6billion for the six months to June 30, along with strong performance from ITV Studios.
McCall rejected suggestions ITV was outgunned by rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime and said there was still huge demand for British-made content.
Responding to a report that US tech giants were setting up UK production bases, McCall said: ‘We are uniquely placed. We already have a library of content, we already produce amazing dramas and entertainment shows.
‘So if they are going to do local hubs then that is just competition. And we will have to compete. We have the assets to do that well.’
ITV is seeking partners for a new subscription-based streaming service and will continue to expand its studios arm, which has bases in the US, and Europe.