What is ITVX? Your guide to the brand new streaming service from ITV
What will the ITV streaming platform bring to the table?
Ahh, ITV. The home of This Morning, Love Island and many, many TV shows following police officers on the beat in northern towns. The network that brought us the legendary Alison Hammond is a much loved UK institution, and now it’s rebranding. Or rather its on-demand service is, with ITVX.
ITV’s old ITV Hub service lagged badly behind its BBC and Channel 4 rivals in terms of service, usability and quality streaming. There’s no way to rewind live video, the smart TV apps are clunky, and unlike All 4, much of its historical content has migrated over to the subscription-based Britbox streaming platform.
Where the ITV Hub has fallen, in its place comes ITVX. But is it something to be excited about, or simply the ITV Hub with a new veneer? ITVX is offficially launched on 8 December but if you’ve tuned into FIFA World Cup coverage on ITV Online this week you’ll have noticed it is already branded ITVX – and for one thing, the streams are actually in HD!
What is it?
In short, ITVX is the new and improved home for Coronation Street cliffhangers and disgraced MPs on I’m a Celebrity. But it’s much more than that. Announced in March, ITVX will come with around 15,000 hours of TV on its launch, all for free. To compare, the ITV Hub currently hosts around 4,000 hours.
ITVX bills itself as ‘the UK’s first integrated advertising and subscription (AVOD/SVOD) platform.’ Viewers will have the choice of free-to-watch streaming with ads, or a paid for subscription without. A paid for ITVX sub will also gain access to UK streaming platform BritBox, but we’ll come to that later.
The subscription costs £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year and a seven day trial is available.
What can you watch?
Naturally, anything that has been aired on ITV will appear on ITVX. That includes countless dramas, events coverage, box sets and reality TV. It will also host exclusive, themed channels.
The big news, though, is that ITV has pledged a budget of £160 million in 2023 for ITVX exclusives, Variety reports.
ITV has already made a number of new commissions for the platform. This includes dramas Tell Me Everything and the Vicky McClure starring Without Sin, as well as A Spy Among Friends with Damian Lewis. These will all stream exclusively on the platform for six to nine months before being broadcast on ITV.
In what hints at ITV’s future aspirations, the broadcaster has promised that at least one flagship show will land on ITVX per week. This includes upcoming shows such as Nolly, executive produced by It’s a Sin writer Russell T Davies, Litvinenko starring David Tennant and Mark Bonnar, and period drama The Confessions of Frannie Langton.
There’s also good news for anyone who’s been forced to watch Hot Fuzz on ITV2 for the hundredth time. ITVX intends to stream 500 films for free in its first year. A constantly refreshed selection of titles and 150 films will be on the service at any one time.
What about Britbox?
The launch of BritBox in 2019 was met with some trepidation. After all, the joint streaming service from the BBC and ITV faced stiff competition from Amazon, Netflix and Disney+. Could Del Boy and the Rovers Return regulars go toe-to-toe with the big guys?
Well, yes, sort of, much to many people’s surprise. BritBox recently surpassed 733,000 subscribers. But as ITV brings its content in-house, what happens to it?
ITV said that ITVX subscribers will “gain access to a growing range of partner content, without the ads, and BritBox.” The broadcaster also said that “BritBox will remain the standalone subscription home of the best of British content […] until later this year (2022), when the content on ITV Hub and BritBox come together in what will be the new streaming home of ITV, ITVX.”
It was reported in March, however, that ITV bought out the BBC’s share of BritBox to better integrate it with ITVX. That said, BritBox International will still remain a 50/50 joint venture between ITV and BBC.