UK broadcaster Channel 4 will relaunch its 4oD on-demand platform at the end of the month, with improved search and recommendation features for users that access the site via the main Channel4.com website.
The site, which had 215 million video views in the first half of 2011, will launch with a faster and more efficient predictive search and viewer driven recommendations on August 31. Channel 4 said the changes would significantly improve the discoverability of content in its extensive video archive.
A new function, My 4oD, will allow users to create playlists of episodes and schedule an evening’s viewing, or create a list of shows they want to remember to watch (called My 4oD Playlist). It will also enable users to keep track of episodes they’ve watched or have started watching (My 4oD History) and save favourite programmes in a single place and get in-page reminders from Channel 4 whenever a new 4oD episode is available for them to watch (My 4oD Favourite Shows).
Channel 4 will also offer a new full-screen view, that will offer users the chance to discover related and viewer recommended shows from its catch-up and archive, which has now been organised in more easily accessible categories, as well as by channel. Users can also get recommendations via a ‘People Also Watched’ feature that highlights related shows watched by other 4oD users.
Sarah Milton, Channel 4’s head of VOD said: “Increasing the availability of 4oD on multiple platforms remains a key tenet of Channel 4’s strategy. Channel4.com is by far the most popular access point for 4oD and we are focused on developing and improving this proposition. We have refined and optimised the design to ensure viewers get the best experience from the wealth of content Channel 4 has to offer. We have over 5,000 hours of archive programming available on the Channel4.com 4oD service, and the redesign makes it even easier for users to browse our offering.”