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Channel 4 launches Commercial Growth Fund

Category: News Release

  • Channel 4 exclusive UK media partner to ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG’s SevenVentures pan- European Media Alliance
  • New Head of Commercial Growth Fund appointed
  • Deezer first to sign strategic revenue share partnership with Channel 4

Channel 4 today announced the launch of the Commercial Growth Fund. The new initiative will offer high growth potential companies not currently advertising on television the opportunity to build their business through advertising on Channel 4 marketing platforms – by exchanging equity stakes or striking revenue share arrangements.

This latest commercial innovation expands upon Channel 4’s successful Indie Growth Fund launch last year which already supports a diverse investment portfolio of seven UK-based independent production companies, including the latest investment in Voltage TV last month.

The initiative will further diversify Channel 4’s commercial strategy, bolstering its unique commercially funded, not-for-profit business model – and will also stimulate TV advertising spend from new to TV brands.

To extend the network of new business opportunities available to the Commercial Growth Fund, Channel 4 has partnered with Germany’s largest TV network ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG’s investment arm SevenVentures as its exclusive UK media partner. Channel 4 joins a pan-European Media Alliance of seven leading media and entertainment groups, including TF1 and MTG, for introductions to innovative digital businesses hoping to accelerate their growth across Europe.

A Head of Fund has been appointed to lead the Commercial Growth Fund. Reporting to Sarah Rose, Director of Commercial & Business Development, Vinay Solanki will be responsible for establishing new business networks, identifying and pursuing potential investments and securing deals. Previously Vinay has held Strategy & Corporate Development Director positions at Getty Images Inc. and Chellomedia and brings over 15 years media industry experience in M&A, strategy and commercial business development to the fund. Vinay will join the Channel to launch the initiative on 1st July.

Leading on-demand audio service Deezer is the first company to strike a strategic commercial partnership with Channel 4 through the fund which, as part of the relationship, will see them produce promotional content tailored to Channel 4’s platforms, starting this autumn.

Speaking at Channel 4’s 2014 annual results presentation, Chief Executive David Abraham said: “TV advertising is vital to high growth companies looking to quickly build their reach and significantly grow their business. Extending our existing Growth Fund initiative to support a larger range of businesses, like Deezer, by providing access to Channel4’s marketing platform is another powerful example of Channel 4’s commercial innovation.”

Christian Harris, MD for UK and IRL, Deezer, said: “We could not be more excited to be announcing this partnership with Channel 4 – not only are they pioneers in their field, but their emphasis on originality in output ensures we can work towards engaging consumers in the most creative way. Deezer's primary objective in working with Channel 4 is to accelerate our partner program in the UK to provide more scale and growth. This is an important time of growth for the streaming industry as a whole, and working with the Commercial Growth Fund means we stay at the forefront of innovation.”

Through the fund Channel 4 will build a varied portfolio of selected companies that share the Channel’s ambition for creative innovation to enable these businesses to leverage the value of its core young and upmarket audience.

Channel 4 expects to announce further Commercial Growth Fund investments later this year.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • The seven media partners in ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG’s SevenVentures media alliance include: Antenna Group (Greece, Serbia and Slovenia), Channel 4 (UK), MTG (CEE and Nordics), ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG (Germany), TF1 (France), TVN (Poland) and Dogan Media Group (Turkey)
  • Channel 4 will predominantly invest in UK based companies but will additionally look to bring other brands into the UK market
  • Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund investment portfolio currently includes: Arrow Media, Eleven Film, Lightbox, Popkorn, Renowed Films, True North and Voltage TV
  • About Deezer

Deezer is the first truly worldwide on-demand audio streaming service in over 180 countries, with 16 million monthly active users and 6 million paid subscribers worldwide. Deezer is at the forefront of a music revolution, allowing fans instant access to the largest streaming music catalogue in the world, with more than 35 million songs, 30,000+ radio channels and 20,000+ podcasts on any device. Combining the best of man and machine, Deezer’s global editorial team searches for the best music around the world and its algorithmic recommendations help fans discover music they will truly love. Deezer is available on your favourite device, including smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop, home sound system, connected car or smart TV

Launched in 2007, Deezer is a privately-held company, headquartered in Paris with offices in London, San Francisco and around the world. Deezer is currently available as a free download for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows devices or on the web at deezer.com globally outside the US