Launching on 31 March, the broadcaster's broadband media player on its revamped ITV.com website will allow consumers to catch up on shows such as Coronation Streetwithin a 30-day window, and access more than 1,000 hours of archive content.
Viewers will also have the option of watching live streamed content from all of ITV's channels, including its digital portfolio. All content will be available free of charge, with the exception of a few premium events, such as sports, with prices yet to be set.
ITV has appointed former Telegraph Media Group new media director Annelies van den Belt as managing director of broadband to lead the initiative.
She rejected the idea that content originally screened for free could become paid for via download after it had screened. 'If you are going to charge people, you have to offer niche content,' she said.
'Channel 4 charges because it had to pay for the content in the first place, whereas we own the rights to most of our key programmes from ITV Productions. This means we are well placed to launch free-to-view offerings.'
The broadcaster has invested £20m in the broadband site. Van den Belt said: 'We want to replicate online what ITV is famous for. It will be a 24/7 platform for viewers which is easy to use and helps create a natural path from TV to broadband. An average media consumer expects a natural flow between the platforms.'
The site will also feature user-generated content, with consumers' content eventually being incorporated into forthcoming programmes, such as Trinny and Susannah Undressed.
The revamped website will also change the way ITV commissions programmes and van den Belt said future commissions would be made with the site in mind.
The website's player will be embedded in the website and available as soon as a consumer logs on, rather than needing to be downloaded like C4's 4oD media player.
The service has been designed by Schematic, the company behind CNN's broadband video-on-demand service.
The BBC is expected to launch its iPlayer catch-up service early this year, and Sky will launch a new video-on-demand (VoD) service later this year that allows viewers to access a range of programmes at any time through Sky+ boxes.