Channel 4 records biggest streaming month with 40% growth

Channel 4

Source: Channel 4

UK pubcaster Channel 4 has reported in March alone viewing increased by 40% year-on-year to 6.9 billion viewer minutes, marking its biggest-ever streaming month. 

The broadcaster pointed to its increasing young audience and the release of new factual formats as the driving force behind its streaming growth.

BARB data for the first quarter of 2024 showed that 18% of all Channel 4 viewing now comes from streaming. The TV operator announced its plan to become a digital-first streamer by 2030 at the start of year as part of its Fast Forward strategy. Channel 4’s digital-first plans will be built around three pillars focused on: digital growth, including a rejig of commissioning teams and programming investments; diversifying into new businesses, including IP ownership; and “re-engineering” the business for streaming, namely reducing operational costs away from channels.

Data revealed an 18% growth in viewer minutes among 16 to 34-year-olds in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023. According to the Channel 4, it is the youngest profiling PSB streaming player, with 27% of viewing from young audiences. Findings show a total of 38% of 16-34s now stream Channel 4, compared to 29% in Q1 2023.

The Jury: Murder Trial – a social experiment in which a real-life murder trial is restaged in front of two juries of ordinary people registered 214 million streaming viewer minutes in the 28-day period. The show averaged at 3 million viewers across broadcast and streaming, with 60% of viewing by 16-34s via streaming

Police corruption documentary To Catch a Copper gained nearly 150 million streaming viewer minutes. Across broadcast and streaming, it reached 1 million 16-34-year-olds that 60% of whom watched via streaming .

Meanwhile, the two-part doc-series The Push: Murder on the Cliff earned 190 million streaming viewer minutes in the 28-day period and overall, 44% of viewing came from streaming.

Other popular titles such as Married At First Sight Australia attracted 1.4 billion streaming viewer minutes for series 11, The Great Pottery Throwdown recorded 362 million viewer minutes, thriller Truelove, recorded 241 million streaming viewer minutes, and documentary series The Rise and Fall of Boris Johnson secured 141 million viewer minutes.

Channel 4’s chief content officer Ian Katz said: “In last the few months we’ve had a hugely successful run of factual programming combining purpose and scale. Several of these shows have used the appeal of true crime stories to tackle big topics – like police malpractice, honour killing and debates about the justice system – through projects that are genuinely revelatory and innovative, and get people of all ages talking. This data shows a really strong start to what will be a transformative year, after we laid out our Fast Forward strategy and began reengineering our business to become a genuinely digital-first public service streamer.”

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