Channel 4 eyes digital future with five-year strategy
Channel 4’s ambition to transform itself into a digital PSB took a step forward last week with the launch of its Future4 strategy.
The Future4 strategy sets five-year targets, which include doubling All 4 viewing, growing digital advertising to be at least 30% of total revenue, and earmarking non-advertising for at least 10% of total revenue.
To achieve these targets, Channel 4 proposes to prioritise digital growth over linear ratings, to focus on strategic partnerships and viewers’ expectations, whilst diversifying new revenue streams.
This will include the launch of a £30 million Global Format Fund to invest in new British-created content formats that have global potential, the use of deeper insights to find shows that drive streaming, and to maximise its Leeds-based digital content hub, 4Studio, to produce more original shorts and grow branded digital entertainment.
Advertisers will be allowed to ‘bring their own data’ to target All 4 viewers via the channel’s BrandMatch offer and given more creative opportunities including, ad-break takeovers and branded social content.
Alex Mahon, Channel 4 CEO said: “Our Future4 strategy builds upon our strong track record of digital innovation and will accelerate Channel 4’s pivot to digital by driving both online viewing and new revenues. It’s an ambitious and comprehensive plan to transform Channel 4 into a digital PSB that retains its distinctive brand and public service impact."
Channel 4 has already seen success in transforming its viewing and revenues to digital faster than its commercial competitors.
All 4 views are up +27% across 2020, with one billion views already achieved across all platforms. During the first lockdown period (23 March to 3 July), All 4 views grew by +54%, with rate of growth comparable to SVODs such as Netflix.
“By giving us a strong bias towards digital growth, Future4 will ensure that Channel 4 thrives in the digital age and continues to deliver for the creative industries, the economy and the wider public – as well as for our own business," Mahon concluded.