Candyspace and ITV: The Launch of ITVX - dotComm Awards


London, GB
Candyspace are experts in designing, building and optimising digital products. We create websites, mobile apps and commerce solutions for ambitious organisations investing in growth and digital transformation. We are trusted to deliver by some of the world’s best-known brands, including ITV, Rolls-Royce, Mazda, Mars and Nestle. Our vision is to create digital products loved by everyone: the businesses we work with, their customers and our own team of passionate experts. We do that by finding the sweetspot between business need and customer demand, fusing insight, creativity and technology to build products of value

Candyspace and ITV: The Launch of ITVX

Client: ITV
Category: Mobile/Apps | 65. Entertainment
About Project

In 2022, ITV launched an ambitious new streaming service, ITVX - The UK’s Freshest Free Streaming service. ITVX replaces the existing ITV Hub, launching right in the middle of the FIFA World Cup, the biggest live streaming event of 2022.

The aim of ITVX was to move away from being solely a catch-up service, as the previous ITV Hub had been, to become a more content-rich, modern broadcaster streaming service; driving viewers to watch more content for longer.

The launch of ITVX was one of the most important moments of ITV’s 68-year history. Responding to changing viewing habits and the evolving needs of advertisers, it represented a massive scaling up of streaming capabilities and a shift to a digital-first strategy.

ITVX offers more flexibility in how viewers use the service, combining a free, ad-funded VOD (AVOD) tier with a premium subscription VOD tier (SVOD) where users can access exclusive content and watch ad-free. As well as video on demand, ITVX also offers seamless live simulcast streaming of its channels, plus an additional 20 new FAST (free ad funded streaming television) channels.

ITVX users are now able to access more than 20,000 hours of content (up from 1,500 hours on ITV Hub) from a range of content partners to help attract and retain new ITV viewers. Viewers can regularly access new content, with weekly uploads of exclusive programming, ensuring that users are always able to discover something new.

As part of the upgrade, a redesigned interface and design language were implemented using the new ITVX brand. This new interface was translated across CTV, iOS, Android and Apple TV devices to create a consistent user experience regardless of the platform.

Some areas of improvement included an easy-to-use navigation panel which works across all CTV platforms, an auto-rotating hero carousel and a completely redesigned immersive live area of the app with a mini-EPG guide specifically designed for an in-app CTV experience. Imagery was also upgraded to new sizes in higher resolution and new title treatments. Video resolution has also been upgraded to HD and a new “Start Again” feature was implemented across all platforms.

Candyspace has been a strategic partner to ITV for over 10 years and we were tasked with delivering ITVX across iOS, Android and Apple TV devices. Our teams worked closely with ITV to ensure a smooth roll out of ITVX across all platforms, ensuring that the new service was available to the widest possible audience at launch. Due to the release date falling within the FIFA World Cup, it was imperative that users experienced little disruption and could access live streams from day one.

Our development teams worked closely with ITV to ensure that viewers had a consistent user experience, implementing the redesigned interface of ITVX on mobile platforms.

Our developers also worked to ensure that all viewers would be able to easily navigate ITVX’s robust library and discover new content. One of the ways they achieved this was by implementing an increased number of content display rails. These rails not only make content discovery easier but also give editors at ITV greater flexibility in how they merchandise their content.

With the introduction of the new subscription tiers, Candyspace also developed new feeds to clearly differentiate between free and premium content.

We also built a more intuitive in-app sign-in and registration process, which keeps users informed and puts them in control of the content they are able to access from the beginning of their session. This includes a more streamlined log-in flow with the use of QR codes to help sync user data with the CTV app and an improved registration flow which clearly explains how and why ITV uses customer data.

ITVX is built upon an entirely new technical and user architecture and is underpinned by enhanced data capability. This has allowed our teams to implement new and improved personalisation features for new and returning users. One of these features is “Profiles”, which includes the introduction on a new “Kids” homepage. This clear distinction between adult and child profiles allows parents to have more control over the content that their children are able to access. Profiles also allow users to see more personalised recommendations based on their own viewing preferences.

Following a rigorous build and testing process, ITVX launched in November 2022. Thanks to the close partnership between Candyspace and ITV, the upgrade from ITV Hub was seamless. During the FIFA World Cup, ITVX delivered a peak live streaming audience of 2.4m concurrent viewers tuning in to watch England play France.

Through close collaboration between Candyspace and ITV, we were able to deliver a world-class streaming service which has resulted in:
- 1 billion streams in just over 4 months (compared to 7 months in 2022)
- A 65% increase in online users for ITVX
- The best January on record for ITV, with 249m streams - a 100% increase on the previous year
- £54m Subscription revenues
- Total streaming hours up 49% in Q1

ITV are committed to creating the biggest shows with the smallest footprint, with aims of a 100% sustainable supply chain by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. ITV’s robust and ambitious climate action programme is grounded in science, with targets to reduce their carbon emissions by 46.2% and the emissions they influence by 28% by 2030.

This action plan influences ITV in all areas, both on screen and off. From the production of their own programming, to working closely with the broadcast and streaming industries to play an active role in building a Net Zero media sector.