Beyond catch-up: VOD interfaces, ITV Hub and the repositioning of television online

Catherine Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The past 5 years have seen a rapid acceleration in the development of online television in the UK and beyond, with rise in ownership of internet-connected television sets, smartphones and tablets, increased access to broadband, and the growing penetration of transaction and subscription video-on-demand (VoD) services. This article asks how free-to-air terrestrial broadcasters are adapting to an emergent media marketplace in which ‘the key enablers of on-demand television are now mass-market’ (Ofcom, 2015: 18), through an analysis of ITV Hub – the VoD player for the UK’s largest free-to-air advertiser-funded broadcaster. Focusing on the mature VoD market in the UK, and the broadcaster whose business model is most threatened by online television, the article combines trade press and textual analysis to demonstrate how ITV has developed a VoD service highly structured by the logics of broadcasting. Centering its analysis on the interface for ITV Hub, the article argues that this increasingly quotidian form of television ephemera offers a vital site through which to understand the changing nature of television as a medium. The article concludes that with contemporary developments in VoD, the distinctions between linear/broadcast and non-linear/on-demand television (flow vs file, passive viewer vs interactive user) are breaking down in ways that challenge prevailing arguments that on-demand television can be understood as offering a distinctly different (and more empowered and interactive) experience for viewers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-138
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Studies in Television
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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