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McCall doubles down on digital strategy

RTS: UK broadcaster ITV will continue to shift focus away from linear television to become a more digitally led media and entertainment company, according to its CEO, Carolyn McCall.

Carolyn McCall

McCall was speaking on the opening day of the Royal Television Society’s convention in Cambridge today.

She said the move away from linear was in line with consumer patterns, but also because digital platforms make it easier to track viewers’ likes and dislikes.

This will not only help to personalise the viewing experience and generate content ideas but also help greatly with advertising, she said.

Referring to her previously announced More Than TV strategy, McCall said ITV was “focused on creating a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business.”

“Many people are also in the rapidly emerging world where, for a growing minority, broadcast linear TV is as outdated as the iPhone 4,” McCall said.

“The challenge for all of us – in business, in government and in regulation – is to strike the right balance in what we do between these two worlds.”

The RTS Cambridge convention theme is Content, Consumers and Everything In-between. McCall said this last element was the most exciting part of the industry.

“Increasingly, it’s the ‘in-between’ of our title where the action is – between content and consumers, between broadcasters and their audience and between global platforms and the services on them,” she said.

McCall also said the changing nature of rights acquisition, advertising rules and terms of trade was making the industry more exciting than ever.

“Whether dictated by the market or laid down by the regulator, these all have the power to determine success or failure – and the very shape of the industry – as never before,” she said.

ITV will also review its diversity and inclusion programmes following Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer survery.

“By any measure that’s the right thing to do, and building a more inclusive and diverse culture where everybody is comfortable being themselves fuels the creativity that makes Britain a truly global player in our industry,” McCall said.

“Television still has the power to influence people’s lives like no other medium.”

ITV will also launch a news service for teenagers that will be optimised for Instagram, YouTube and its own website.

The Rundown will summarise the key news stories of the day in short clips, with the option to swipe to find more detailed information on the website.

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