The STV Player is an online video on demand service accessible through the main STV website as well as being available on a variety of smartphones, tablets, consoles, set top boxes and Smart TVs. Current programmes are available for 30 days after transmission on the main STV channel, with archive programming available longer-term. The service was established to hold full programming and “long-form” content, separate from the existing STV Video site, which would then be rebuilt to hold “short-form” content, news, weather and clips.
Most STV primetime, and some daytime, shows are available on the website; however, some sports, movies, imported programming and network programmes with copyright issues do not.
STV launched the STV Player channel on YouTube on 20 August 2010, with six categories: Documentaries, Drama, Entertainment and Comedy, News, People and Scotland.
On 5 August 2014 STV player failed during the coverage of the Scotland Decides debate ahead of the Scottish Independence vote. The live stream was the chosen method for viewers outside Scotland to watch the debate and many on Twitter expressed their frustration that seemingly the high volume of demand was not anticipated. Others on Twitter suggested that STV had an embarrassing evening.
The BBC news website reported that the BBC had offered to carry the internet live stream across the UK (on their stable and proven network); “A total of 186,267 tweets were sent overall throughout the show on STV. A number of people expressed frustration at technical problems that interrupted the broadcaster’s live online streaming of the event.”