ITV Acquires $1.73 Million Stake In Money Saving Firm
British broadcaster ITV has invested $1.73 million (£1.25 million) in household money-saving company Nineteen 21 LTD, which trades as ismybillfair.com. The service’s key function is to help households across the U.K. save money on their energy bills by getting a fairer price from their current suppliers.
Currently, the online entity is specifically focused on energy bills with current plans to expand into broadband also.
Niko Waesche, fund manager of ITV AdVentures Invest, said: “ismybillfair.com was launched by seasoned industry experts who understand the needs of both the energy providers as well as U.K. households, so we liked this win-win proposition as soon as we heard about it.”
“It’s an extremely useful service for British consumers, and we’re looking forward to bringing it to a mass audience, and helping ismybillfair.com to grow, through ITV’s unique reach.”
Instead of making a traditional investment for their minority stake in the company, ITV has instead agreed to supply the service with advertising inventory across its channels and its digitized ITV Hub.
The move is designed to not directly harm ITV’s cash flow, innovatively reach a younger audience by weaponizing a strong broadcaster asset and using the inventory to claim a guaranteed stake in further successes.
ismybillfair.com CEO and co-founder, Alex Perrin, said on the announcement: “We know most people would prefer to save money with their current suppliers and not have to go elsewhere. Our aim is to become the leading household brand for saving without switching. ITV reaches more households than any other commercial TV group in the U.K. and, combined with its near-perfect match with ismybillfair’s audience, we’ve found our ideal partner to fuel our growth.”
The Love Island producer has the option to invest a further $1.73 million (£1.25 million) in the company, predicated on its coming results, due to their agreement. It is not known if this would be with cash or more inventory. The year ending February 2020 saw ismybillfair.com report net losses of $554,000 (£400,000).
Due to the Terms of Trade in the U.K., British broadcasters are heavily prohibited from owning programmes from third party British producers, excluding them from a key income stream utilized by other broadcast entities.
U.S. broadcast entities, and other worldwide broadcasters, operate with a carte blanche ethos in regards to owning programmes they invest in and exploiting them. The usage of advertising inventory as an investment vehicle could be utilized to balance the scale more for British broadcasters.