ITV Case Study2022-04-22T10:18:47+00:00
  • ITV Case Study Ben Maffin

ITV Case Study Introduction

ITV is a household name and is watched by millions of people every day. ITV’s approach has always differed from the BBC due to its commercial nature. i.e. there’s no public licence fee-paying for the productions. This means every piece of the ITV real estate essentially needs to make a return of investment, an /or provide analytics on ways of monetising an area of business.

With this in mind ITV really embraced the concept of mobile apps – initially it feels counterintuitive for ITV to send users to another media type, but in reality they’ve worked out the apps act as a companion piece as TV interactions haven’t really progressed.

Love Island App

One of the important points about delivering anything for TV production is Transmission dates (Tx) don’t change, so in the time / quality / cost triangle that’s an immovable position. It is possible to deliver a little less and update later (to maintain quality), especially with long-running series, but this isn’t always practicable with one-off events.

The Love Island app was complex and had a number of key features, all designed to either keep the user engaged with the show or have real estate to sell to sponsors and sometimes both. The challenge with app development is you need to essentially do the work twice for the same product, and release on Android and Apple at the same time.

Both systems differ in subtle ways and obviously have completely different coding and release processes through their relevant app stores. One of the ways we overcame this was to use React Native (which isn’t OS-specific) and using some slick web coding for the shop.

Love Island App Quizzes

There were a vast number of quizzes within the app. These were designed to keep users engaged with the show when the show wasn’t on, or during slower periods of the show. They included a top page advertising unit so the producers could push various products to customers while they were taking the quiz.

Love Island App Videos

Again, used as a bridge between shows and even before the show to introduce the candidates before they set foot on the island. Videos kept users engaged, but also featured a pre and post advert (pretty much like YouTube) so sponsors could use product placement.

Love Island App Advertising Units

As well as adverts on the quiz and video sections, the producers were also able to put items in the apps’ feed – highlighting other areas of the app, promoting the shop or allowing sponsors to “take over” the app and have a large advert in the feed. All tracked so they would get valuable insight into how well the advert was performing.

Love Island App Voting

Probably the most powerful area of the app designed for user engagement was the voting section which gave Love Island fans the chance to vote for their favourite Islander. This was a complex piece of development with a lot of testing designed to ensure the system worked and could not be ‘gamed’ or interfered with.

A massive income generator, the shop appeared in the app. But we’ll take about that below.

Not only did all of the above need to be created they also needed to be tested and the client trained on their use. This involved me fully populating every element available in the app to demo to the client, and then run through the production team how to use it before they headed off to the Island for shooting.

Love Island Shop

From memory the shop made in the order of £3M gross in two months. The Love Island Shop had both a native app and desktop component. The app component needed to work seamlessly within the app, so the user didn’t feel that they were in a conventional website. We decided to do the web approach after some MVP attempts at native app work.

Rather than creating a shop from scratch, the Love Island Shop used a heavily modified version of Shopify. I’d used Shopify previously so had a good handle on how it worked. I initially created a ‘test’ shop and started to play around with adding product varients (the number of products and varients increased exponentially from the year before with the addition of a new cosmetics brand).

While I knew how to use Shopify, the rest of the team didn’t so require extensive training as all the products needed to be added in. There were also modifications we needed to do to allow a new provider to pick, pack and ship the orders.

The Love Island Shop went live on time with all the products. Leveraging the SaaS Shopify solution meant we had a high degree of confidence in the underlying core code, which meant we could focus on testing the front end modifications we’d made.

This Morning App

The “This Morning” app was essentially a greenfield site for development. As a long-running, popular show it did, however, lend itself to using some of the work which had been done with the Love Island App.

Client List


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