ITV banking on targeted programmable advertising after tough Q1

ITV is “making good progress” on delivering its strategy after turning in a Q1 performance “very much as we expected”, according to CEO Carolyn McCall.

The UK commercial broadcaster’s revenues were down 4% to £743m ($964m), with modest growth from ITV Studios and 22% growth in video-on-demand revenues offset by an overall decline in spot advertising impacted by the timing of Easter and the uncertain UK political environment.

Broadcast and online revenues were down 7% and ITV total advertising was also down 7%. ITV advertising revenue is expected to be down 6% for the first half of the year.

McCall said that the BritBox JV with the BBC was expected to be launched in the UK in the second half of the year, and highlighted ITV’s agreement with ad tech outfit Amobee to bring programmatic addressable advertising to its content on the ITV Hub on-demand service.

“This means ITV can offer the best of both worlds at scale – mass simultaneous reach across linear channels where we delivered 100% of all commercial audiences over 5m, alongside targeted, data-driven addressable advertising in a brand safe environment on the ITV Hub,” she said.

As reported previously, McCall defended the broadcaster’s plans for BritBox UK, saying the endeavour is sufficiently “distinctive” and will be “liberating” for producers.