Love Is­land suc­cess boosts younger au­di­ence for ITV

Campaign UK - - PROMOTION - By Gur­jit De­gun

ITV2’S smash hit Love Is­land is help­ing the chan­nel buck the wider de­cline in younger view­ers, with the num­ber of 16- to 34-year-olds watch­ing in­creas­ing by 86% year on year.

Over­all, the se­ries’ high­est av­er­age au­di­ence was 2.1 mil­lion view­ers – a big jump from last year’s 1.3 mil­lion and the first se­ries’ 737,000. Across the cur­rent se­ries, Love Is­land is av­er­ag­ing 1.6 mil­lion, up 73% year on year.

The show’s pop­u­lar­ity has grown grad­u­ally, Kelly Wil­liams, ITV’S man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of com­mer­cial, ex­plained. “Year one was a risk be­cause it’s a rel­a­tively ex­pen­sive show,” he said. “The big de­ci­sion was recom­mis­sion­ing it for a sec­ond year. It dou­bled its au­di­ence. This year, it’s dou­bled again; it’s just hit the zeit­geist. We get very frus­trated when me­dia pro­fes­sion­als say young peo­ple don’t watch TV any more, it’s ab­so­lute non­sense.”

Data from Blue 449 shows that TV view­ing among young au­di­ences has de­clined in re­cent years. The num­ber of 16- to 24-year-old view­ers in 2015 fell 13% year on year. This trend con­tin­ued in 2016 with a 20% de­cline. For 16- to 34-year-olds, there has been an 11% drop since 2014.

How­ever, ITV2 bucked this trend in 2016 when its 16- to 24-year-old au­di­ence in­creased 22% year on year. This is likely to con­tinue be­cause “Love Is­land of­ten out­per­forms Chan­nel 4’s top shows”, Tim Greene, group trad­ing di­rec­tor at Blue 449, said.

Thirty per cent of Love Is­land’s live view­ing is via the ITV Hub on­de­mand plat­form, which has sur­prised ex­ec­u­tives at ITV. Paul Kanareck, group di­rec­tor of on­line at ITV, said 75% of the UK’S 16- to 24-year-olds are reg­is­tered on the ITV Hub, up from 50% in De­cem­ber last year. He added: “Peo­ple al­ways think on­de­mand ser­vices are about catch-up, and that tablets and iphones are sec­ond screens, but we’re dis­cov­er­ing that for many peo­ple they are sec­ond TVS.”

Ruth Cartwright, head of AV at Am­plifi, added that ITV has also taken a “fresh per­spec­tive” in terms of pro­mot­ing the show this year. “It is more prod­uct-led and re­ac­tive to the show, us­ing ev­ery­one’s favourite phrases: ‘graft­ing’, ‘on paper’ and ‘muggy’,” she ex­plained.

ITV has sold 75,000 wa­ter bot­tles of the same style as those used by the con­tes­tants and has struck a deal with Pri­mark to sell slo­gan T-shirts.

Con­tes­tants who have left the villa have been quick to com­mer­cialise their so­cial me­dia pres­ence with spon­sored posts – in­come that ITV does not share.

How­ever, Si­mon Daglish, ITV’S deputy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of com­mer­cial, is not con­cerned by this. “ITV might make th­ese peo­ple fa­mous but we don’t own them,” he said.

Love Is­land: the num­ber of 16- to 34-year-olds watch­ing the ITV2 se­ries has in­creased by 86% year on year

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