STV Group plc today announces that advertising trends continue to improve through 2021, with total advertising revenue (TAR) growth of +32 per cent in the six months to June 2021 vs H1 2020, as a result of continued strong digital growth and an improving economic outlook.
Encouragingly, H1 TAR was up five per cent on the same period in 2019, pre-Covid.
STV-controlled advertising continues to outperform the wider market, with video-on-demand advertising on the STV Player up 62 per cent in H1. Regional advertising revenues were up 27 per cent in H1 following only a five per cent decline across full year 2020.
STV’s record viewing performance has continued into 2021, with total TV viewing up a further five per cent in H1. STV’s viewing share has also grown 1.6 points to 20.8 per cent in H1 2021, the highest growth of any of the UK’s 500+ TV channels and STV’s biggest all-time viewing share since 2006.
Online viewing was up 66 per cent in H1 and streams up 94 per cent.
June’s viewing and commercial performance was significantly boosted by STV’s exclusive coverage of the Euros, with the England-Scotland game delivering STV’s highest peaktime audience since records began (1.94m).
Total streams across the tournament on STV Player were 3.9m, +70 per cent on the World Cup 2018, with June streams overall up 163 per cent. As a result, STV’s total advertising revenue in June was up over 100 per cent, with VOD revenue up over 200 per cent on 2020 levels, both representing strong growth on June 2019.
In terms of the outlook, STV expects July TAR to be up 35-45 per cent year on year, again boosted by the Euros and the wider economy which continues to re-open. STV also has a strong autumn programme line-up on TV and online, with over 50 hours of new network drama, a threefold increase on autumn 2020.
STV’s digital strategy continues to accelerate, with STV Player today announcing its biggest ever content partnership, with Banijay Rights, which will see an additional 1,200 hours of drama and factual content added to the Player over the next year including high end UK, Nordic, French and Australian drama series.
STV Studios’ commissioning momentum continues with the recent announcement on a new 25-episode quiz show for BBC1, The Bridge of Lies, which was secured after a competitive tendering process. It starts filming in Glasgow later this year and will be hosted by Ross Kemp.
Overall, STV Studios remains on track to deliver its most successful year yet, with revenues of £20-25 million already secured for 2021.
Simon Pitts, STV chief executive, said: “STV has made an excellent start to 2021, with our record TV and digital audiences powering advertising revenue growth of 32 per cent in the first half of the year, ahead of market expectations, and five per cent ahead of pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
“So far this year, our audience share growth is the highest of any of the UK’s 500+ TV channels, total TV viewing is up five per cent even compared to last year’s lockdown, and online viewing on STV Player is up a further 66 per cent.
“Euro 2020 has lifted spirits, broken hearts and delivered a record viewing and commercial performance for STV. Our coverage reached 3.6 million Scots and average streams per match on the STV Player were higher than for World Cup 2018, Euro 2016 and World Cup 2014 combined, helping to more than double our ad revenues in June.
“We have plenty more to look forward to in 2021, with STV Studios on track to deliver its most successful year yet, hundreds of hours of unmissable drama set to drop on STV Player following today’s new partnership with Banijay Rights, plus 11 new network dramas this autumn including Manhunt series 2, starring Martin Clunes.”
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