back to article ITV eyes micropayments for Corrie specials

ITV says it will introduce micropayments for some web shows viewed through ITV Player, with January 2012 the most likely launch date. The idea is to show specials, or (pardon the jargon) "webisodes" of popular programmes such as Coronation Street. You can see why ITV would want to, with advertising sure to continue a long-term …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    5p a text...

    ...sounded great until the mother of a teenage girl got a 1400 pound bill for one month.

    1. GettinSadda

      Re: 5p a text

      Surely at 5p a text a £1400 bill would take pretty much a text a minute 18 hours a day for 30 days

      1. Captain Underpants


        Most "free text" type promotions have a "fair use" limit of around 3000 per month. So if you're dealing with a group of eg 10-15 people who use texts the same way they would email (ie sending to all), it's more like a couple of thousand messages in a month to get that kind of bill. Which is a bit more like it.

        I'm curious about how likely pay-to-play is to work with this sort of content when for the most part ITV's own accountants don't often bother with eg DVD releases or whatever. I suspect more people would be willing to pay with time (in the form of watching ads) than with actual money...

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: a text a minute 18 hours a day for 30 days

        You don't have a teenage child, do you? Our first bill with texting enabled was an eye-opener, and caused strict rules to be enforced. We've now moved to an unlimited texting plan, and some months I'm convinced our teenager does nothing but text every waking moment of every day (and asleep too, since texts keep coming in at all hours of the night...) And yes, texts to groups of 10 friends at a time add up quickly...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RE: Re: a text a minute 18 hours a day for 30 days

          Wouldn't it be far simpler if you had a pay as you go tarriff?

          Then you'd be able to control how much money is spent on the phone and should the little darling go over the limit, then perhaps they do chores to earn money for credit?

          Or is that too old fashioned a way of teaching a child the value of money and that the bank of (insert parent) is not a bottomless pit

          1. Anonymous Coward

            pay as you go tarrifs costs more...

            Our daughter was on a pay as you go, for a while. It was fine when she was younger, but as she got older PAYG got a little expensive.

            as my little cherub continually does well at school, working well above national average and is predicted to get A* in all of her GCSE's as a reward we decided to get her the smart-phone of her choice (Iphone), not my choice, but that's what she wanted. It costs us £25 per month for unlimited texts, loads of voice and 5gb data.... less than it was costing us in PAYG...

            I can almost hear the grumbles from a lot of you, muttering about iphones for 15 year olds, but as she does well at school, never gets in trouble she deserves it... not like the little bastards who go out robbing cars and get sent on driving weekends by the courts and social services !!

            boffin, because she is one

  2. HmmmYes

    Hmm, not a bad idea

    Maybe an R18 special starring Rosie Webster.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    It's better than TV subscriptions

    At least with this method you only pay for what you watch. With summat like Sky or Virgin your monthly subs are due no matter how much or how little of their product you watch. To put it another way, they charge the same whether they show good programmes or crappy ones. Think! which are cheaper? they're the ones that will be shown most.

    By effectively having a pay-per-view setup, there is much more incentive to screen original, popular programmes than to stuff the schedules full of reality/soap/repeats/filler with one single new episode of a "blockbuster" per night.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I was a corrie fan

    I'd be happy to drop £5 into an online wallet at ITV and then burn though it against PPV as long as me fiver didn't expire and that I knew there was more stuff in the pipeline soon

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  6. maclovinz

    I thought....

    .....ITV was acquired by Reynholm Industries.....

  7. Paul 87


    It doesn't necessarily mean processing the credit card payment each time you want to watch something. Chances are, it'll be an account balance you top up (minimum £5 - £10) that you eat up on the various services.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Micropayments

      Yes, last year ITV talked about Oyster-card style payment, which is a pre-pay model.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    micropayments haven't failed

    They are massive money spinners in other parts of the world, Asia being a prime example where they are used for all kinds like buying weapons and armour for online games. They just haven't taken off very well over here yet as people still haven't got their heads around them. When you explain that it's a bit like a pay and go mobile phone so you top it up and only use credit when you want something, most people I have spoken to think it is a very good idea.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      @micropayments haven't failed

      Good point. Maybe if you got the choice of micropayment and no adverts, or advert-based model, folk would actually pay the odd penny or two per show, probably works out at more than the advertisement rates for a national TV channel.

  9. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Might work

    Some people will definitely want to pay, though many might prefer a kind "season ticket" for all specials. If you have good, desirable content you have a market as ITV knows with its milking of Pop Idol on its other channels.

    HBO, et al have shown that there is money in premium, subscription-based TV. Web-based micropayments have failed largely because the user experience is so shit but PPV for sport is successful.

  10. PJ 1

    "popular programmes such as Coronation Street"

    But ever less so:

    Still I'm sure some of the remaining 7.1M shuffling, boss-eyed soaptards will be queuing up, credit cards in hand, to pump cash into the ITV coffers. Unfortunately, given the intelligence level required to be entertained by this tardovision Dan Brownian Manc cockwash, the best they'll probably manage is to push their card into one of the ventilation slots on the side of their PC loosing it forever and dribble into the keyboard until the whole thing shorts out.

    Still, it will keep them entertained in the advert breaks in Loose Women.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    i don't know much about coronation street but isn't it watched mostly by old people? the kind who are mystified and vaguely unnerved by computers at the best of times never mind when its asking them for payment details. last i heard its viewing figures were going down hill pretty rapidly so maybe now isn't the ideal time to be asking people to pay money to watch some of it.

    maybe this would work for hollyoaks if they could find a way to stop the viewers smashing their monitors trying to grab stuff out of them and ruining their keyboards with their constant dribbling.

  12. stillious

    What's next?

    What's next, renaming it to DLC?

    1. Lamont Cranston


      I can see it now:

      "You are watching the free to air version of Coronation Street. Click here to add the Jack Duckworth plug-in for £5. Limited time offer: Hotpot add-on pack for £2.50."

  13. Paul 43

    May I be the first to say (and be surprised no one else has said)

    that ITV would have to PAY ME at least £10 p/h to watch that shit!

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