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ITV to undergo “strategic refresh”

CEO Carolyn McCall admits ITV is struggling to monetise VoD

ITV is to implement a “strategic refresh” after posting its steepest fall in advertising revenues in a decade.

Delivering her first full results announcement, CEO Carolyn McCall noted that ongoing political and economic uncertainty is leading to “cautiousness” among major brands.

ITV’s overall 2017 EBITA profit fell five per cent at £842 million, while revenues increased four per cent year-on-year, taking the total to £3.7 billion.

ITV Studios, which encompasses it’ US division and international production and sales operations, posted revenues of £1.6 billion, a 13 per cent uptick on the previous year.

McCall said: “We are very focused on our strategic refresh. This will enable us to define a clear strategy and priorities that will highlight the opportunities and address the challenges that we face in an increasingly competitive media landscape. This project is well underway.”

However, she refused to go into detail of what any new approach may involve, and the new strategy is not expected to be a complete overhaul of ITV’s operations.

McCall admitted the company needs to re-evaluate how it monetises ITV Hub. Even its most popular shows are bringing in only a fraction of the advertising seen on traditional TV, despite a 39 per cent growth in online viewership.

“You’ll start seeing more boxed sets, and that really improves the user experience,” said McCall. “We now need to work out what we should do that will actually place us in a better position competitively and what gets us the greatest returns. You can get very excited about doing lots of whizzy things that actually don’t make money.”