As a profit-driven network, ITV has its work cut out in the online streaming world when the BBC's iPlayer looms overhead. How do you compete with a cultural institution? Its solution these days is one of sheer choice: it's launching a publicly available beta of its ITV Player refresh that offers TV show rentals. While viewers will have free, ad-backed viewing for the last month's worth of programming, they'll also have the choice of renting 30-day access to archived episodes at 49p (79 cents) each without the pesky commercials in between. Anyone who just can't get enough Collision can spring for a 90-day rental of a whole series at a lower total price, and the broadcaster is even planning trials of streaming-first episode premieres -- if only we were so forward-thinking in the US. We'd question the wisdom of anyone who really, truly needs an uninterrupted The Only Way is Essex, but at least those who want fodder for water cooler chats can blast through their pseudo-reality TV at a record pace.
ITV unveils new ITV Player
Brand new integrated player offers free and pay content in one easy to use experience.
ITV today unveiled its new ITV Player for the first time offering viewers the chance to rent content from ITV's vast archive of quality programming, free from advertisements. Traditional catch-up content remains available at no charge, and will sit alongside the archive content.
From today, every visitor to www.itv.com/itvplayer will be offered the chance to use and explore the new integrated free/pay player as part of the next phase of its roll out. Viewers will be able to:
Watch 30 day advertising funded catch-up for free.
Register to access 8-30 day catch-up content.
Access 30-day rental of single ad-free episodes from ITV's rich archive from 49p.
Access 90-day rental of ad-free full series box sets at a discounted price.
Also coming soon, ITV will be trialling programme premieres from its stellar line-up giving viewers the chance to watch the next episode of a series straight away without having to wait for the episode to be broadcast on linear channels.
James Micklethwait, Online Product Director, ITV said: "Our all new ITV Player is a huge step forward in offering our viewers not only an improved catch-up experience but also the chance to access a wider range of ITV's rich mix of programming, on demand, for a competitive price. We see this as offering our viewers a little bit extra for a little bit extra, and look forward to evolving and improving the new Player going forward."