ITV will charge viewers for online clips says chairman

LONDON - ITV chairman Michael Grade said the broadcaster is considering charging users to access online clips from programmes such as 'Britain's Got Talent' to boost revenue, in a move that could come as early as next year.

Grade said he hoped to introduce a micropayment scheme to the ITV on demand service, which would be extended to mobile phones, charging between 10 and 50p per clip.

Speaking to BBC radio 5 Live, Grade said the money earned through the micropayment model would support ITV's £800m annual programming budget.

Grade said: "This is an issue all content owners are struggling with. [Britain's Got Talent] did very well in the UK on ITV.com.

"Our advertising was sold out and we get a big premium for our online advertising. We are working on it, so watch this space."

ITV reportedly missed out on over a million pounds in ad revenue after it failed to reach an agreement with YouTube regarding which ads to sell against clips of Susan Boyle, the 'Britain's Got Talent' singing sensation who amassed roughly 200m views on the video-sharing site.

ITV blocked any ads from being run against clips of Boyle while it negotiated special terms with YouTube to run pre-roll ads on the videos, which are virtually non-existent on the website.

Grade has famously referred to YouTube as a "parasite" in the past, saying it feeds off the content created by commercial broadcasters.

In the BBC 5 Live interview, he talked down the video sharing website once more, calling its Susan Boyle ad offer "derisory".

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