A Look at the Rebranded ITV Player

At Decipher one key aspect of the ITV re-brand really interested us. With the new design, ITV has brought the ITV Player brand firmly back into the core brand architecture.

Previously, ITV had followed the BBC in having a fundamentally different brand approach for their online activity – ITV Player – to the core brand, one which was effectively competitive to the channel brands.

The BBC now stands alone in doing this – and its a mistake. ITV’s move makes the ‘player’ subservient to the ‘channel’ which is the way it should be in a broadcast business.

More subtly however, ITV have removed references to the ‘player’ on platforms where they are not responsible for the playout technology. The reason this is important is that the word ‘player’ brings with it consumer expectations around proposition and functionality.

ITV and BBC content in Sky On Demand, and other closed platforms, does not come with the functionality (log-in, favourites, pay, download etc) that you get on the web players. To insist on using the player logo in a 3rd party platform is a distraction from the job that catch-up is meant to do – supporting the main channel brands in winning eye ball time.

So ITV now have a different brand approach for Sky On Demand (where Sky control hosting and playout) to that on YouView (where the ITV Player team DOES control and host playout).

On Sky its not ITV Player, so they don’t say it is. The new approach is a mature way to ensure two things: a good relationship with the platforms they work through, and clarity about when ITV is, and when it isn’t, responsible for on-demand.

Not only can the ITV re-brand be said to be the first 21st century re-brand. But ITV have a claim to be the first truly 21st century broadcaster.

Nigel Walley