UKTV is to launch UKTV Play, a new digital-only service which will become the primary on-demand portal for the broadcaster.
The service, which CEO Darren Childs said would “take away the difficulty that some viewers find with video on demand”, will consolidate the commercial network’s existing on-demand offerings, currently available via individual channel players, by making content from the various channel brands, such as Dave and Really, available in one place. In addition to viewing available titles by channel, content will also be complied on UKTV Play by topic, as well as featuring “staff picks” and box sets.
UKTV Play is set to launch this Summer on iOS devices, with launch titles including Crackanory, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, Raiders of The Lost Art and Most Haunted, as well as box sets of Lizard Lick Towing, 24 Hours to Go Broke, Black Ops and Museum Secrets. UKTV will also use the service to preview commissions and acquisitions ahead of their linear broadcasts. Following the soft launch on iOS, UKTV Play will roll out on PC and YouView later this year.
The new on-demand portal will be overseen by UKTV’s Director of Commercial & Business Development Dan Fahy and UKTV’s General Manager of VOD Emma Boston, both of whom will work closely together on the roll-out of UKTV Play throughout the year. UKTV’s Head of VOD Kim Morris will oversee editorial content for UKTV Play, which was built by UKTV’s Director of Operations and Technology Ben Hine and his team.
“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”, said Fahy. “UKTV Play has been created specifically to cater for our viewers’ needs. It is an exciting new destination where they can find and watch programming from our different channels in a very easy and convenient way.”