Major new digital innovations announced at Channel 4 Upfront


Channel 4 today announced the launch of a range of major new digital platform and product innovations at its Upfront 2013 event.

Building on the huge existing success of 4oD, which is the UK's most successful commercial video on demand service reaching nearly one third of all young people in the UK on a monthly basis, in 2013 Channel 4 will launch:

  • Mobile offline viewing for 4oD: Channel 4 will become the first commercial broadcaster to launch free ad-supported offline viewing, giving viewers the opportunity to download and watch many of their favourite Channel 4 shows, on catch up, on the move on their smartphone or tablet.
  • 4oD ‘Pause and play' across platforms: Viewers will be able to pause a programme on 4oD on one platform and then resume watching from the same point on another device.
  • C4 ‘Watch live' on mobile devices: All of Channel 4's main channels will be available to watch live on iOS and Android devices from early 2013.

These three new products are among the platform innovations we expect to deliver in 2013 and are part of the package of benefits offered as part of Channel 4's viewer relationship management programme to engage and reward its registered viewers.

Channel 4 is the first UK broadcaster to embrace using viewer data to inform its strategy and has confirmed that this month its database of registered viewers will exceed six million - with registrations continuing to grow at a rate of over ten thousand a day. One in three 16-34 year-olds are now registered with the broadcaster, giving Channel 4 vital insight into one of its core demographics.

Over 2012 Channel 4 has worked with clients on a number of projects to pioneer new ways of targeting audiences using the data.

Speaking at the Transforming TV event as part of the Channel 4 Upfront, new Head of Digital & Partnership Innovation, Jonathan Lewis, announced that in 2013 the broadcaster will work with selected clients to take the following new data initiatives to market:

  • Offering TV buying audiences on 4oD - beginning with the targeting of known 16-34 adults.
  • Developing interest-based behavioural audiences - for the first time allowing advertisers to target people rather than content
  • Exploiting advertising interaction data - allowing advertisers to effectively target people known to be active in a specific category based on previous user behaviour and engagement

In 2013 Channel 4 will also launch a new digital ad product, Adapt, which for the first time will bring together Channel 4's data insight with its VOD innovation.

Adapt will enable advertisers to target logged on users based upon their age, gender and location.

The launch of Adapt builds on the increasing demand from advertisers for digital products, with the current offering - including Ad Pause, Ad Extend, Ad Link, Ad Mix, Ad Social, Ad Interact - now accounting for over 10 percent of Channel 4 sales inventory delivery.

Launching Channel 4's 2013 Upfront, Sales Director Jonathan Allan said: "2013 will be another fantastic year of innovation for Channel 4 and I'm delighted that we will be kicking it off with such an exciting range of platform and product developments, as we continue to drive our viewer registration initiative and engage more deeply with our audiences through content and advertising."

On the launch of new innovations for 4oD, Channel 4's Commercial & Business Development Director, Sarah Rose said: "We're very excited to be the first commercial public service broadcaster in the UK to offer mobile offline viewing, enabling our viewers to catch up with Channel 4 wherever they may be.

"And the introduction of ‘Watch Live' on the move and cross platform ‘Pause and Play' is great news for our young-skewing audience who are increasingly watching our content on multiple mobile devices. These new product innovations both reward our registered viewers and further strengthen our viewer engagement strategy."

Notes to Editors

  • Mobile offline viewing on 4oD will be available for catch up viewing from early 2013 on iOS, and on Android later in the year.
  • 4oD is currently available online at as well as YouView, Virgin Media, BT Vision, YouTube, iOS mobiles and tablets, PS3 and XBox. In 2013 it will also be available on Sky's on demand service, Android, Freesat's Free time and Samsung Connected TV.
  • C4 ‘Watch Live' will be available on mobile devices in the UK

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