ITV announced this week the imminent launch of their TV on demand service. Similar to those offered by Channel 4 and the recent trial announced by the BBC, it will offer the chance to see any ITV programme broadcast in the last 30 days direct from their website. The £20m upgrade to ITV.com will make available about 20,000 hours of popular archive footage, and stream ITV channels live.
In vein with current ITV programming on Television, the material will be free and feature advert breaks or be supported by a sponsor. Streaming will be direct from the website and will not require additional software, unlike the BBC's iPlayer that will only run on Windows PC's initially.
A recent study by Motorola showed that 45% of broadband users in Europe watched TV shows online. France topped the stats with 59%, whilst Britain had only 43%. The new services from the BBC and ITV should help boost these figures, whilst alternatives such as Joost, from the makers of Skype, are breeding choice in the web-TV market with some less mainstream content.