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Michaela Jefferson 

Channel 4 to trial ad-free VoD with relaunch of All 4

Channel 4 to trial ad-free VoD with relaunch of All 4

Channel 4 is relaunching All 4 today with an invitation for selected registered users to trial a paid-for alternative to its ad-funded video on demand (VoD) service.

All 4 +, which will run programmes without ads in commissioned content, first launched as a small-scale test in late 2018.

Advancing the trials shows that the service is "getting serious" about a paid upgrade to the free service, Richard Davidson-Houston, head of All 4, said. The results of the trial will determine whether the service is extended over the coming months.

The news follows yesterday's announcement by the BBC and ITV that they are in the "concluding phase" of talks to launch BritBox - a paid-for, ad-free streaming service - in the UK later this year, as they look to re-attract the audiences of online services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

BARB data shows that more households are taking multiple subscriptions - while the annual growth in homes with any SVOD service is 20%, the growth in homes with multiple services is 32% with 4 million homes now having more than one subscription.

Although Channel 4 has yet to confirm its involvement in BritBox, it is widely expected that the broadcaster will also be adding its content to the service.

All 4's relaunch also includes a rebuilt iOS app, as well as a new visual identity developed by its in-house agency, 4creative, and branding agency DixonBaxi.

According to the broadcaster, 2018 was All 4's most successful year since its 2006 launch, with views up 25% year-on-year.

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