ITV to launch micropayments in 2012
10.05 Europe/London, July 27, 2011 By Julian Clover

ITV is to launch a micropayment system as it bids to further grow its online business. Having been left behind by the BBC iPlayer, and even Channel 4’s 4oD, the ITV Player is now available on Android phones, Apple devices and Freesat (see separate story). As a result long form video views have increased by 64% to 180 million over the last 12 months.

“We’re investing in the quality and reach of our online offering. We’re making ITV Player more widely available,” said ITV chief executive Adam Crozier. “We plan to have a pay mechanism in place around the turn of the year so that we can test what viewers are willing to pay for, and we continue to work with our partners on YouView, which is on track for launch early next year”.

The exploitation of content across multiple platforms, free and pay, was one of the four priorities of ITV’s transformation plan unveiled last August. Already HD versions of ITV’s multichannel offering ITV2, ITV3 and ITV3 have been launched within the Sky pay-TV package.

It is generally accepted that ITV has to rely less on advertising revenues – rising 2% in the first half of 2011 – but the question now is whether the consumer will be willing to pay.

ITV’s online usage continues to grow after a shaky start Average monthly unique users up were 19% to 10.8 million and long form video views up 64% to 180 million across all platforms. Online revenues increased by 33% to £16 million.