ITV chief-executive Adam Crozier has hinted that the network might use additional Coronation Street content as a way of testing what people are prepared to pay for online.
Speaking yesterday at the The Royal Television Society international conference in London, Crozier insisted that ITV1 as a channel would remain free to air, but admitted there may be potential on the Internet to monetize exclusive content.
Crozier insisted, “we’ll not go down the News International route”, suggesting an all encompassing paywall for entry to ITV.com is not currently on the cards, rather opting for “payment mechanisms” such as charging for extra content from ITV’s current television shows could be the way forward.
He allayed fears that fans would have to pay to watch popular soaps such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale on TV stating “ITV is free and things like Coronation Street are central to that strategy.” However he did not rule out the possibility for ‘extras’ from such shows being used in a paid model.
Although Crozier didn’t lay out cast iron plans for which of ITV’s programmes might be monetized online, it is seems obvious that the network would be looking to cash-in on their biggest property, Coronation Street, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Crozier said: “whether for Coronation Street, looking at alternative endings, previewing certain things. We can test and learn from these things, we’ll have to learn as we go along,”
ITV experimented with multi-ending content online earlier in the year during Gail Platt’s court case in Coronation Street. The broadcaster put both the guilty and the innocent verdict on ITV.com before the ‘reveal’ episode was screened. It was an innovative experiment, and I’m sure paved the way for today’s news … but the question remains …
… would you pay for it?
It looks like ITV will very soon find out.