UKTV will launch a new digital on-demand service, UKTV Play, this summer.
The direct-to-viewer VOD service will feature advance previews of original commissions and acquisitions, as well as other existing content on-demand.
“UKTV Play will be as easy as switching on your TV,” says CEO Darren Childs. “We will curate content by topics and events, so UKTV Play will take away the difficulty that some viewers find with video on demand: choosing what it is they want to watch.”
Indeed, content will be compiled in familiar and intuitive collections, such as by topic and real-life events, as well as by the network’s channels, including Dave and Really. Titles available to stream will range from popular UKTV shows (Storage Hunters, Crackanory, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums) to a selection of BBC programmes (Lizard Lick Towing, 24 Hours to Go Broke, Black Ops and Museum Secrets) back to back.
UKTV Play will soft launch on iOS this summer with PC and YouView following by the end of the year. It will feature “easy to use functionality”, including “swipe channel selection”, stop-and-resume viewing, predictive search, an alphabetical browser and parental controls.
The news of UKTV’s latest brand launch comes at a time when the media company is enjoying record growth. It is currently the fastest growing commercial broadcaster in Britain, with over 42 million viewers a month.
“We’ve launched UKTV Play because data shows our viewers will find more programming and engage with our channels more regularly if they have a single destination for on-demand viewing,” adds Dan Fahy, UKTV’s Director of Commercial & Business Development.
He will work alongside General Manager for VOD, Emma Boston, on the roll out of UKTV Play. Head of VOD, Kim Morris, will oversee editorial content. Ben Hine, Director of Operations and Technology, and his team are responsible for building the service.