Channel 4 today reveals plans to become the only UK broadcaster to offer a slate of social-first branded entertainment opportunities to clients and advertisers for publication right across its quality, brand-safe, social channels – including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
The offer comes with the launch of 4Studio the new Channel 4 in-house digital content studio – formerly announced as the Digital Creative Unit (DCU). 4Studio’s commercial division will be looking to optimise Channel 4’s unique appeal with 16-34 viewers across social platforms, with a bespoke social branded entertainment offer - giving youth-focused brands the opportunity to reach this premium audience at scale.
Led by Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital & Partnership Innovation this specialist team are seeking to work with like-minded, bold brands to create distinctive social content with a strong sense of purpose at its heart.
Reporting into Jonathan, newly appointed Sophie Lloyd, Branded Entertainment & Creative Leader will be driving this initiative with Ex-Unilad Commercial Director Matt Ford, 4Studio Commercial Lead. Sophie, Matt and their new team are taking this opportunity to market with immediate effect.
The specialists, working closely with Channel 4’s digital commissioning team and a range of production partners have developed a slate of genre specific formats that offer advertisers the opportunity to be part of UK youth culture and entertainment, speaking to these audiences across all the platforms they use to consume content.
Sophie Lloyd, Branded Entertainment and Creative Leader, Channel 4 said: “We’re really proud to be the first broadcaster to be able to offer brands the opportunity to reach our premium youth audiences with meaningful, editorially relevant content for social, either engaging brands with our slate of formats or responding to briefs with bespoke content ideas.”`
The team is responsible for driving future social-first Branded Entertainment revenues which will directly compete with key players such as Ladbible, VICE and Jungle Creations.
Channel 4’s portfolio of brands continues to resonate with youth audiences across all platforms. Channel 4 reached over 100 million Facebook users including 81% of 18-24 year olds and 74% of 25-34 year olds in the UK throughout the past month, whilst achieving over 800m YouTube impressions across the same period of time and 18-34 year olds being the most engaged age group with Channel 4 on this platform.
Youth-focussed factual strand True Stories is one example of original Channel 4 short-form content for social and has amassed over 46 million views across Facebook and YouTube since launching in February.
This activity and the creation of 4Studio forms part of Channel 4’s wider strategy to maximise viewing time spent with Channel 4 across all platforms.