...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
Polly Hill, the head of drama at ITV, has expressed that it is increasingly challenging to attract viewers to the broadcaster’s main channel, where programming needs to have broad appeal.
Speaking about ITV’s new streaming platform, ITVX, Hill emphasized the need to adapt to changing viewing habits and explore more targeted content.
She explained that while the linear channels remain important, audiences prefer not to rely on scheduled programming.
Addressing Evolving Viewing Habits
During her speech at the Wales Screen Summit, Hill acknowledged that the traditional approach of trying to capture a wide audience on ITV’s main channel has become more difficult as people consume television in diverse ways.
She highlighted the importance of ITVX in accommodating viewers who seek more niche content and emphasized that the platform allows the network to cater to specific audiences while still maintaining a sizable viewership.
Targeting Specific Audiences on ITVX
Hill stated that on ITVX, they can produce shows that may not appeal to everyone, as long as they believe the audience for those shows is significant enough.
This approach enables the broadcaster to explore genres like sci-fi, which may not have traditionally been part of the main channel’s programming.
By identifying and serving the right audience for each show, ITVX aims to cut through the competition in the streaming landscape.
The Future of ITV and ITVX
Hill highlighted that ITVX plays a vital role in shaping the future of ITV.
The platform aims to evolve and differentiate itself from the linear channels.
As they continue to commission new content, such as Russell T Davies’s Nolly and drama Litvinenko, ITVX aims to attract audiences who are seeking different types of programming.
Hill emphasized the importance of staying true to ITV’s remit of providing populist and mainstream content while adapting to the changing media landscape.
Polly Hill’s remarks shed light on the challenges faced by traditional broadcasters like ITV in capturing and retaining audiences.
The shift towards digital platforms and on-demand viewing has changed the way people consume television, leading to a decline in linear channel viewership.
Hill’s acknowledgment of this trend demonstrates ITV’s commitment to staying relevant and evolving with the changing preferences of viewers.
The launch of ITVX reflects the broadcaster’s recognition of the need to adapt to the streaming era.
By providing more targeted and specialized content on this platform, ITV can cater to specific audience segments that may not be adequately served by the main channel’s programming.
This strategy allows ITV to tap into new genres and create shows that resonate with niche audiences while ensuring the potential for a significant viewership.
ITVX’s ability to offer a different viewing experience from linear channels is crucial in attracting viewers who are looking for unique and diverse content.
Hill’s emphasis on the platform’s evolution and its ability to learn from audience preferences aligns with the industry’s broader trend of personalized and tailored viewing experiences.
As ITVX continues to produce original content and gather insights from viewers, it will likely refine its identity and purpose to better cater to the evolving demands of the streaming audience.
ITV’s focus on ITVX as a complement to its linear channels represents a strategic response to the changing landscape of television consumption.
By embracing targeted content and recognizing the importance of flexibility and adaptation, ITV aims to maintain its position as a significant player in the evolving media landscape while meeting the evolving demands of its audience.
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