The milestone was hit two years ahead of the British PSB’s initial target, with the broadcaster launching a strategy in July 2018 that aimed to increase registered users from 25m to 30m by 2021. The platform had 21m registered users in October 2017, while that number had risen to 26m a year later.
A significant amount of growth was attributed to season five of reality show Love Island which broadcast during the summer. In June alone, 3.2m users were attracted to the platform.
Streaming of live sports, such as the England football team and the Rugby World Cup, has also been popular, with the latter attracting 20m simulcast requests to date. England’s match against Australia in the competition’s quarter final saw 1.5m simulcast requests – the highest number during the tournament yet.
ITV Hub is currently accessible across 28 different platforms, with connected TV being the most used.
Steve Forde, director of digital products at ITV, said: “The Hub is a key part of our ‘More than TV’ strategy and it’s a testament to our investment in technology and programming that we’ve hit our target registered users so far in advance. The attraction for viewers of being able to watch the most talked about programmes, including Love Island, the Rugby World Cup, dramas such as Deep Water, A Confession and the soaps, whenever, wherever and however they want is clear.”
The announcement of ITV Hub’s success comes shortly before the UK launch of BritBox, in which ITV has a 90% stake. The SVOD, led by Reemah Sakaan, has already faced criticism from the market. Analysts at Berenberg recently said that the product looks “uncompelling” for the UK in the face of growing SVOD competition.
Specifically cited as a concern is a small budget of only £100m ($127m) for original content, compared to the billions being spent by the likes of Netflix and Disney.
The analyst said: “The bulk of the content will thus be that which has been available on free-to-air. We struggle to see the USP for Britbox in this environment.”
Digital TV Europe has reached out to ITV for additional comment.