Channel 4 sees trebling of YouTube and 4.0 viewing

UK ad-funded public broadcaster Channel 4 has seen a year-on-year trebling in UK viewing of full episodes of TV shows on YouTube and Channel 4.0, the YouTube-plus-social-media brand it launched two years ago, in the first quarter.

In the first of a new quarterly update on Channel 4 social performance, based on UK views, Channel 4 said it was making progress towards its goal of doubling of all social views by 2030, including increasing the amount of content on YouTube.

Documentaries including 60 Days on The Estates (which garnered 1.9million views in Q1) plus entertainment staples such as Hollyoaks drove a trebling of Channel 4’s YouTube full episode audience, according to the broadcaster, while social-first creators such as Nella Rose and Harry Pinero drove similar views growth to its Channel 4.0.

Views of full episodes of Channel 4 programming on YouTube increased by over 200% year on year in Q1 (or by 7.6million to 23million) and 333% year on year in April (by 2.2million to 9.5million).

Full episode views of Channel 4 documentaries on YouTube including The Push: Murder On The Cliff (1.4 million views in Q1) and To Catch A Copper (1.4 million views) were among the most watched Channel 4 shows on YouTube, according to the broadcaster. The most viewed full episode on YouTube was The Kidnap Of Angel Lynn, with more than 1.1 million views in Q1.

Channel 4.0, which delivers youth-oriented content, saw UK views rise by 242% in Q1 to 25 million views, and an increase of over 332% to 11.5 million in April.

Channel 4.0 launched on YouTube in 2022 and on TikTok and Instagram in 2023.

Overall, across all social platforms and all content types, Channel 4’s UK social audience increased by more than 12% in Q1 to 626 million views, and by 9% in April to 232 million views. Channel 4’s TikTok growth was up over 90% year on year in Q1 to 14 3million UK views.

Matt Risley, managing director, 4Studio, the company’s digital production unit, said: “Today’s announcement marks further progress on our Fast Forward strategy and keeps us on track for a planned doubling of social views. Our growth on social is translating both into commercial success – with major rights distributors now entrusting us to represent social ad sales for their content – and for viewers it means even more ways to watch.”

Sacha Khari, head of digital commissioning, Channel 4, said: “The success of Channel 4.0 speaks to Channel 4’s remit to advance creative diversity. Our collaborations with creators and publishers is helping to elevate that sector on YouTube and beyond in terms of quality, legitimacy and potency.”

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