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Channel 4 launches real-time bidding on All 4 in UK broadcast industry first

Category: News Release

New digital advertising innovation supports Future4 strategy

Channel 4 today announces the launch of All 4 Private Marketplace, a new advertising innovation that enables brands to buy digital advertising space around All 4’s 14,500 hours of premium content via private programmatic auction for the first time.

Channel 4 is the first UK broadcaster to make its vast inventory available through automated real-time bidding – a method that enables ad space to be auctioned in milliseconds and the highest bidding advertiser’s campaign served to its target audience.

All 4 Private Marketplace allows advertisers to easily target All 4 viewers in a number of different ways including by the genre they’re viewing or their demographics (e.g. age, gender) across all connected TV devices, mobile and desktop. Its launch offers a more flexible approach to digital advertising that enables brands to quickly upweight their investment of campaigns based on their performance or objectives in real-time.

All 4 Private Marketplace is now available to all advertisers and agency groups and supports Channel 4’s Future4 strategy to deliver 30% of total revenues from digital advertising by 2025.

Among UK public service broadcasters Channel 4 is uniquely committed to an ad tech agnostic approach, providing advertisers with choice for how they transact against All 4 inventory. All 4 Private Marketplace is enabled through partnerships with demand side platform The Trade Desk and supply side platform Freewheel and is set to be integrated with Google’s DSP DV360 in the coming weeks.

Channel 4 has partnered with a number of agency groups and clients at launch including Deliveroo, Dentsu International, MIQ, Omnicom Media Group UK and Publicis Media.

Verica Djurdjevic, Chief Revenue Officer, Channel 4: “The launch of All 4 private marketplace represents the next generation of broadcaster digital ad innovation offering brands complete flexibility to advertise around high quality content on All 4 and improved access to our young engaged viewers.

“Channel 4 has always been at the leading edge of the latest ad tech available which is significantly contributing to the delivery of our Future4 strategy and digital growth as we continue to diversify new revenue streams and strike new strategic partnerships that enable us to compete more effectively.”

All 4 is the youngest-profiling UK PSB streaming service and the UK’s biggest free streaming platform. Its 25 million registered viewers include 80% of 16-24 and 16-34 year olds in the UK.

In 2020 Channel 4 achieved record digital advertising revenues of £161m, up +11% compared to 2019 and representing 17% of total corporation revenue.

Record breaking streaming success in 2020 saw All 4 secure its highest ever level of views with 1.25billion streams, and biggest ever annual increase in streaming views – up +26% YoY, with 16-34s accounting for nearly half of monthly average viewers. Success continues in 2021 with All 4 views +28% year to date driven by the combination of a deep archive, exclusive and hit shows like It’s A Sin, Gogglebox, Hollyoaks and Married at First Sight Australia.

In 2015 Channel 4 was the first European broadcaster to offer advertisers a digital marketplace to buy advertising programmatically and All 4 Private Marketplace continues the broadcaster’s programmatic evolution, demonstrating that it is still pioneering in digital programmatic advertising in the UK broadcast industry.

It bolsters M4RKETS, Channel 4’s leading programmatic suite of products which already allows brands to buy All 4 inventory in advance for a fixed price, also transacting through The Trade Desk and Freewheel, as well as DSP Adobe – this too is set to be integrated with Google’s DV360.

In addition, Channel 4 recently launched a number of advanced data driven targeting options for advertisers that had never been previously available on a broadcaster platform in the UK, including the multi-award-winning BRANDM4TCH which enabled brands for the first time to target known customers or suppress audiences to target new customers on All 4 in a way that is personal and GDPR compliant, in a cookie-less environment. These new products have delivered proven results for brands, demonstrated through recent insight and effectiveness studies.


Notes to editors

Quotes from tech partners:

Phil Duffield, UK VP of The Trade Desk: “We are thrilled to partner with Channel 4 for the launch of its exclusive private marketplace (PMP). The move signifies a huge leap forward for the TV industry, bringing real time bidding to UK broadcaster Video on Demand for the first time.

As the first demand side platform (DSP) with access, The Trade Desk is delighted to be able to offer our clients the chance to buy digital ad space around Channel 4’s vast inventory of premium content in more flexible and more targeted ways than ever before, through real time auctioning."

Jamie Caras, Senior Regional Director & Head of Commercial Strategy, UK & Ireland, FreeWheel: “This is a great example of how FreeWheel is able to provide a brand-safe, programmatic environment for premium video publishers, using FreeWheel’s unified decisioning logic. We believe that FreeWheel’s Private Market Place functionality will allow Channel 4 to maximise its revenue opportunities whilst protect data and ensure compliance as the partnership continues to develop over the coming years”

Quotes from advertisers and agencies trialling All 4 Private Marketplace:

Steve Bignell, CEO Publicis Media: “We’re excited to be testing these new capabilities with All 4, which creates more flexibility for brands in the programmatic landscape. As we continue our journey into creating more addressability for clients within their AV campaigns, these developments by Channel 4 act as great step in moving forward in that direction.”

Dean Weaving, Head of Display, Video and Social, Deliveroo: “At Deliveroo, we’re delighted to be a launch partner for Channel 4’s first private marketplace product, in partnership with our programmatic agency MIQ.  This progressive product launch disrupts the UK broadcast market, positioning Channel 4 ahead of the curve in providing greater flexibility, control and automation for digital buyers.”

Will Gough, AV Partner, Amplify UK, Dentsu International: “Channel 4 moving into the biddable programmatic space marks a big step forward for the industry. Not only will it give legacy and new to broadcast advertisers a new entry point into the market, but it also provides greater flexibility and begins to future proof broadcast video when sat alongside other video platforms in this space.”

Melinda Clow, Head of Programmatic Activation, Omnicom Media Group UK: “With the significant growth of ad-supported streaming, this is the perfect time for Channel 4 to open up the buying options of their inventory through programmatic pipes. We are excited to support this integration as it provides us and advertisers with more flexibility to access high quality inventory, customisation, and paves the way for further convergence of linear and digital”