ITV takes stake in Purplebricks in return for ad time

No-one can accuse UK terrestrial broadcaster ITV of leaving stones unturned in its search for new sources of revenue (and ways of shoring up its existing revenue.)

Through its ‘media for equity’ investment fund the broadcaster is taking a stake in online estate agency Purplebricks in return for advertising. Purplebricks all but collapsed last year and was bought by Carphone Warehouse magnate Charles Dunstone for £1.

The ITV fund takes minority stakes in businesses in return for advertising inventory, one reason being to lure online advertisers onto TV, which many say they can’t afford.

ITV AdVentures director Sheena Amin says Purplebricks is: “well positioned to continue their disruption of the estate agent market and we aim to help build both their brand awareness and market share by using the power of TV to bring their message to millions of viewers.”

The downside of this is struggling businesses. Purplebricks, which charges much less than standard estate agents, should have been a shoo-in but, in practice, DIY house selling has proved cumbersome and unattractive. Estate agents have survived the challenge in part thanks to their own lists of potential buyers.

ITV is struggling with declining ad revenues and also facing the costs of building its digital streaming business. It has started a round of redundancies aimed at saving £150m.

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