Feeds

ITV eyes micropayments for Corrie specials

Because viewers are sure to love paying over and over

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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 decline. But "micropayments"? Have we fallen through a wormhole in time back to 1995?

Micropayments have never taken off for several good reasons – and some bad ones, which unfortunately are a fact of life. Pay-per-view is tedious for the punter and costly for the producer or distributor. The credit card racket ensures that fewer transactions are better. It's far more convenient for both parties to have a common payment platform that sends the punter a bill at the end of the month, like Sky, Virgin or your local newsagent do. People tend to spend more on content this way, too. Ask Apple.

A young John Prescott appears in Coronation Street

This is probably where the internet is at its most broken and immature – but it's really up to the respective producer industries to sort it out themselves.

Computers are good at one thing: totting things up quickly, so we could be being "billed" for stuff as it flies around the network – as long as we could rely on not getting a nasty bill at the end of the month. Those producers who don't sort out easier ways of getting us to pay, will find Amazon and Apple have a very nice payment platform waiting for them ... with massive markups.

ITV also revealed healthy figures today. Pronounced to be terminally ill several times over the past few years, the channel is still some way from death's door. ITV profits after-tax rose from £71m in Q1 to £135m, with revenues over £1bn, allowing it to pay out its first dividend in five years. The growth came from flogging own-grown productions for foreign markets, such as a US version of Prime Suspect.

ITV's CEO is Adam Crozier, the former Saatchi & Saatchi boss notable for his stints at the Football Association and the Royal Mail. At the latter he turned around large losses into significant profits, before they turned into large losses again. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.