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STV sets out creative and digital strategy for next three years

Plans include closure of STV2, creation of dedicated digital division, launch of ad-free subscription version of STV Player

STV has set out its creative and digital strategy for the next three years as it aims to position itself as “Scotland’s home of news and entertainment”.

The strategy includes the closure of its loss-making STV2 channel next month as it looks to shift its focus to online. STV said one of the reasons for the decision was the expected competition from the BBC’s planned new Scotland channel.

The broadcaster will instead focus on placing digital at the “front and centre” of the organisation with the creation of a new managing director whose sole focus will be to drive the growth of its streaming service STV Player.

There are already plans for an ad-free subscription version of STV Player which is aimed at tapping into the burgeoning market for subscription VOD services and accessing pay revenues for the first time.

The company also intends to create a new formats unit focusing exclusively on returnable series and the nations and regions opportunity. It is allocating £15 million for investment in new content, creative partnerships and the STV Player over the next three years.

Simon Pitts, STV chief executive, said: “This is a positive vision for STV that will re-establish the company as a creative force in Scotland and beyond. We will invest in creative talent, new original programming and digital to ensure STV becomes Scotland’s home of news and entertainment and delivers long-term value for advertisers, shareholders and viewers alike.”