ITV launches ad-free subscription service for ITV Hub

ITV is rolling out an expansion of its catch-up and on-demand service The ITV Hub with the option for users to pay to not receive ads.

ITV Hub: campaign by ITV Creative
ITV Hub: campaign by ITV Creative

ITV Hub+, which costs £3.99 per month, has already been running as a pilot on iOS devices, but will now launch on other platforms and get additional functionality.

These will include the ability to download programmes on iOS devices, which ITV said made it the first broadcaster to launch a download service using Apple's native streaming technology.

Other plans for the Hub in 2017 include greater personalisation and investment in original and acquired content. The platform is this week launching You’ve Been T@gged, the first exclusive box set in ITV’s partnership with Awesomeness TV, a media brand owned by Dreamworks, Hearst and Verizon that started life as a YouTube channel.

Next month, the Hub will show The V Room, the switch-over show of the The Voice, which is on ITV for the first time since the broadcaster won the rights from the BBC.

Paul Kanareck, ITV’s group director of online, said: "Viewers have always understood the trade off between paying to view content and watching adverts. With the development of the ITV Hub, we can now offer viewers a choice – to keep watching for free, or to pay to watch without interruptions if that’s important to them.

"We’ve moved from a single content proposition, as a catch up service, to a more comprehensive offering and Hub+ is a great example of what we can do to further personalise a user’s experience."

ITV investment in US digital entertainment studio

ITV has also announced an investment in Los Angeles-based digital entertainment studio New Form, which creates scripted programming for digital platforms including YouTube Red, Fullscreen and Verizon’s go90.

As part of the deal, New Form will provide programming to The ITV Hub. ITV said its investment would support further growth for New form, which has created 30 pilots and 20 series since launching in 2014.

Simon Pitts, ITV managing director for online, pay TV and interactive said: "New Form is at the forefront of a new generation of talented producer-broadcasters who are not only creating fantastic new shows but can also build loyal audiences and brands online.

"New Form's hit rate has been very impressive since launching only two years ago and they are a great fit for ITV as we continue to build our digital content capability."