This is a summary of this article, written 26/2/2008.
ITV’s online video service was launched in August 2007. It reached its peak popularity in November. Since then, it has experienced a decline of about 200,000 views. Naturally, ITV chiefs are worried, especially since only 40% of views (about 1m) are full-length programmes.
Compare that to the BBC iPlayer, which had 11m programmes streamed or downloaded this January.
However, Internet research firm comScore assessed all ITV websites, including xfactor.tv, itvlocal.com and citv.co.uk and found that a much more promising total of 8.1m videos had been streamed from those sites. That’s still less than in November, and still less than the BBC iPlayer, but it’s more than 4oD. In addition, the number of users streaming videos from ITV websites has actually increased since November.
The BBC’s success with the iPlayer may in part be down to the marketing campaign they launched, featuring big names like Jeremy Clarkson and David Attenborough. The fact that the BBC’s website was already popular before the iPlayer got launched is probably also a factor. The BBC iPlayer also has a significantly bigger budget than ITV’s video player.
Ian Maude, of the research firm Enders, said that the BBC iPlayer is “off to a good start”, but that other broadcasters are “struggling to get traction”. He also pointed out that the ITV video player is very good – yet very few people seem to be using it, for some reason.
Maude also said that YouTube is still the most popular video site, suggesting that Internet users prefer short clips to full-length television shows.