LEADING Video on Demand service, the STV Player, has launched UK-wide on the popular TV platform, Freeview Play, as part of STV’s strategy to significantly increase the addressable market for its digital streaming platform.
Alongside their Scottish neighbours, viewers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can now access more than 1,500 hours of free content from the popular commercial VOD player. A collection of high-quality drama series is driving increased consumption of Player-exclusive content, with titles such as the US version of The Bridge and Australian dramas, Janet King, Rake and The Slap, all delivering significant audiences.
STV Player will become the eighth player on Freeview Play’s UK-wide line up, joining BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK and Horror Bites. Freeview Play is the UK’s fastest-growing TV platform, and, with over ten million devices sold in the UK, the launch will considerably extend the reach of the STV Player.
This is the fourth connected TV platform the Player is automatically installed on outside of Scotland, following the UK-wide launch on Virgin Media last month, YouView earlier this year and previous launch on Freesat. STV Player is also available UK-wide in the app stores on all other major platforms.
Due to licensing agreements, STV can only broadcast its Channel 3 Network schedule in its broadcast regions in Scotland. However, over the last 18 months STV has been building up a rich catalogue of UK-wide licensed content on the STV Player and this, alongside a range of STV’s own productions, is now automatically installed across the rest of the UK on Freeview Play, Virgin, YouView and Freesat – with more platforms to follow.
A rich offering of constantly refreshed content and a notably enhanced user experience has helped accelerate digital growth for STV, boosting digital viewing by 70 per cent so far in 2020.
STV’s vast collection of UK-wide Player exclusive programming now totals 1,500 hours and spans a range of genres including:
* Hit dramas such as Gracepoint (US version of Broadchurch), Crownies, Rake, Acceptable Risk, The Bridge US, The Last Enemy, The Code and Catching Milat;
* Classic STV archive shows such as world-famous Taggart and Rebus;
* Gripping factual series across true crime, paranormal and medical emergencies;
* Kids programming from Hopster (including In the Night Garden, Pingu and Ben & Holly);
* Hours of Lifestyle programming – including cooking, travel and beauty; and
* Addictive real-life stories like Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal and Who the Bleep Did I Marry?
Richard Williams, STV’s managing director, Digital, said: “The reach of the STV Player is constantly growing and joining one of the UK’s fastest-growing TV platforms, Freeview Play, this week is a fantastic development in our growth story.
“We’re constantly enhancing our offering and are incredibly proud of the strong drama programming alongside live sport, kids’ shows and factual entertainment series. There’s genuinely something for everyone and we’re thrilled to be on board with Freeview Play across the UK, significantly expanding our reach.”
Owen Jenkinson, marketing director at Freeview, said: “At Freeview we are always striving to deliver the best possible free-to-air viewing experience. The launch of STV Player nationwide means Freeview Play is now home to eight on demand players, giving viewers all the most watched shows, all for free.”
The STV Player app is rolling out across all Freeview Play devices today and will be available on 19 of the top 20 TV brands, including the likes of Philips, Panasonic, Hisense, and Toshiba.
As well as automatic installation on Freeview Play, Virgin, Freesat and YouView, STV Player is also available to download UK-wide on web, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Kindle tablets, Apple TV, Samsung, Fire TV and Roku, Now TV and via Chromecast. STV is available in Scotland on Sky.
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